A break from talking exclusively about retailing activity this time, except to say that I hear progress continues to be made on the legal side for a couple of shop acquisitions. The noises I am hearing is that legals should be complete before Christmas so I may be able to report later on the businesses coming to the town.
20mph limit enforceable?
Someone asked me whether the 20 miles per hour speed limit in the town centre was now being enforced. I had to say I didn’t know so have asked some questions. The answer I received was that the Traffic Regulation Order has already been made and sealed so the speed limit is officially enforceable as soon as all the road signs and painted road surface signs are in place. They are not as I write this. I understand that some tolerance will be given to start with, a sort of grace period.
I felt that the originally planned 20mph control zone was poorly conceived and although some minor changes were made it really is still poorly thought through by Surrey officers. Some councillors thought similarly to me. There were noises that the zone could be extended but that requires a minimum of another year for consultation and action.
I was asked for my opinion on the road painted signage. I have to be honest and say that is doesn’t complement our Conservation Area, although there are other issues which don’t either. Other counties with Conservation Areas appear to have equally over-sized 20mph road markings.
I wondered whether Surrey Highways had been over zealous with the requirements executed by their sub-contractor but understand that the signs have been installed as required by the guidelines but basically the guidelines are wrong.
Too late to do anything now but four or five years ago the committee of FCAMP (Farnham Conservation Area Management Plan), which pushed for the best for our town’s Outstanding Conservation Area, sought to reduce signage not increase it. FCAMP has been replaced by the Conservation Areas Advisory Group reporting to the Farnham town councillors.
I tried to find detailed proposals of the proposed signage works within the town centre specifically the Conservation Area and could I find any? You can find detailed drawings of the Upper Hale Road proposals but not the town centre.
I wonder what comments would have been made had we been able to see the size and frequency of the road marking signage. Do we really need two 20mph road painted signs at the top of Downing Street? Wouldn’t one less than six metres further down Downing Street been sufficient? Too late now.
East Street signage
While walking into Farnham along East Street, from approximately outside Heaven’s Kitchen I couldn’t see the main 20mph signs on posts. They are positioned right on the corner as you drive down the hill into Dogflud Way, one hidden by the St Pauls House building the other behind the blue ‘Turn Left’ instruction sign. What were Highways thinking? All completely in accordance with guidelines I understand. Do they have any common sense?
Castle Street signage
Our Farnham North Surrey county councillor has reported on Facebook last week that: “As the Castle Street terminal signs haven’t been installed the Traffic Order is technically not enforceable. The two outstanding heritage posts for Castle Street have now been delivered by the manufacturer and so they will be installed shortly.”
I heard there is other snagging outstanding as well.
Castle Street camera consultation
Surrey’s consultation on the traffic enforcement cameras monitoring Castle Street is currently taking place. A link to the website (created by the Herald) is: https://tinyurl.com/HGVcameras
The consultation runs until Friday, December 15. If you care about stopping heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) damaging Castle Street and our town please log on and support the proposal. The operators will be coming out in their numbers to object, I am sure. The window offered to set out your reasons for supporting the proposal are limited, to say the least, at 200 characters.
I have heard back from my contact at Megan’s, the restaurant company that will be moving into the former Argos store in West Street. She has asked her company directors for a timeline ASAP for the programme for refitting and opening the new dog-friendly restaurant. She is sympathetic to our concerns about the disappointing appearance of the store in such a highly visible location. She said she will see whether the company can do something soon about tidying up the front of the building.
Would your day be complete without some reference to Brightwells? I thought not!
My attention was drawn to an article in The Times on Friday, November 17. Under the headline ‘Crest Nicholson cuts its profit forecast’ they reported the following: “In addition to the external challenges affecting the industry, Crest is also facing some internal headwinds. The company has taken another £7 million hit from a troublesome regeneration scheme in Farnham, Surrey, where costs have now overrun by £11 million, which has all but wiped out any profit Crest was hoping to make. Building work at Farnham is now close to completion.”
‘Close’ is a subjective word in my book, Easter is four months away...