It has been proven that young children in pushchairs and walking along pavements are affected up to 20% more by exhaust fumes, than their parents who are either holding they hands or pushing them in buggies along our streets.
Ghastly thought isn’t it?
The air pollution in Farnham is increasing as the traffic increases but Surrey County Council is ignoring it. Air pollution is now a national concern.
Unless something is done in the near future our beautiful town is in danger of being totally spoiled by the ever increasing traffic growth. This has to stop before Farnham chokes to death with gridlocked traffic polluting the air we need to breathe.
There is a tendency to blame Farnham’s traffic problems on through traffic criss-crossing the town on the three A class roads, the A31 on the Farnham so-called bypass, the A325 Farnborough to Petersfield Road including the Blackwater Valley Route, and the A287 Hindhead to Basingstoke, as well as several busy B class roads.
There are several badly affected areas of Farnham. North Farnham has suffered from disruptive roadworks, South Farnham, is suffering from on-street parking, obstructing many key roads such as Waverley Lane and Great Austins by commuter parking and school traffic preventing the free flow of normal traffic. The immediate possibility of expanding parking at Farnham station may help reduce some of this on-street parking but the immediate effect will cause chaos.
It is apparent that Waverley Borough Council has lost control of development in Farnham and indeed across the entire borough due to its failure to produce a Local Plan resulting in a free for all for developers. The unrestricted destruction of family homes and gardens, each having 2 or 3 cars, are being replaced with blocks of flats and apartments, requiring 20 or 30 plus cars. Whilst helping to meet national government targets, the result is an explosion of extra cars using our increasingly congested roads.
Individual applications may not appear significant but 1,000 extra houses in Farnham could generate well over 2,000 extra cars.
The medieval town centre roads cannot cope with A-class road traffic and is frequently gridlocked by incidents, badly parked lorries etc. The proposed East Street redevelopment, to say nothing of the Memorial Hall, will require considerable construction traffic initially and should it be built, the additional development including residents, cinemas, businesses etc. will only increase the frequency of gridlocks.
Jeremy Hunt has proposed pedestrianisation of Farnham’s centre. However, despite being told years ago that this was not possible without a substantial reduction in the town’s traffic volumes, and that the only way to do this is to build a proper bypass around Farnham, he has persisted, saying, “we are making progress with Surrey County Council on pedestrianisation proposals for Farnham town centre. The challenge now is to find a scheme that is financially viable and practically possible.” Suggesting his much vaunted proposal is neither! No more time and money should be wasted on it!
These gridlocks will choke Farnham’s potential as a shopping, commercial and cultural centre rendering the town centre a virtual no-go area and choke its shoppers into the bargain!
Development of Bordon and Whitehill will put a huge extra burden on Wrecclesham where the low bridge is forcing large vehicles to divert through the residential areas of south Farnham. Traffic generated from new developments should be mitigated with a bypass around Wrecclesham a proposal argued over for more than fifty years.
Surrey County Council, the highway authority, has failed to keep up with the developments occurring in our area. It says it is making no additional provision in relation to the East Street redevelopment and this basically applies throughout Farnham. Whilst at the same time Surrey County Council – led by Councillor Denise Le Gal is intending to fund the scheme. You couldn’t make it up – could you?