As reported in last week’s Herald, a 20mph speed limit and safety improvements along the roads near Potters Gate Primary School is being petitioned for and was presented to the committee in Friday’s meeting.
The petition, which now has 178 signatures, refers to cars using Beavers Road and Falkner Road as a ‘rat run’. George Hesse, newly elected Farnham town councillor for Farnham Castle and member of the opposition party Farnham Residents, supported the petition and raised the issue as a public question, asking: “Would the highways department at Surrey County Council consider the petition very seriously before somebody is killed?”
Adding to the petition, Mr Edge, Farnham Liberal Democrat and one of the campaigners, said: “Is the county safety policy to refuse to do anything on safety grounds until there is an accident? I hope not and to do so I think breaks all health and safety guidance.
“I’m aware that it is not county policy to put 20mph limits around all schools, so how could I argue that it’s a special case for Potters Gate? Well the answer is that the roads around Potters Gate are a totally lethal combination of being a ‘rat run’ during morning school periods, cars seek to avoid Crondall Lane and West Street, together with parked cars along a significant portion of the road. Potters Gate is different. It needs a 20mph limit.”
County councillor for Farnham North, Stephen Spence, whose daughter attended the school, went further to suggest that there should be a 20mph speed limit outside every school. SCC officers are set to investigate the highlighted issues and report conclusions at the next committee meeting in September.
Members then agreed to a new recommendation made by David Harmer, the Surrey county councillor for Waverley Western Villages, whereby £25,000 allocated toward the Lengthsman scheme should be split equally between the five western divisions and four eastern divisions. This committee funding allows parish and town councils to carry out highway works, including vegetation cut back, sign cleaning, grass cutting and ditch clearance, as part of the scheme.
Jerry Hyman, borough councillor for Farnham Castle, said: “I am just slightly concerned that to turn around and say ‘yes okay we’re going to split the money’, that that’ll take away further money that Farnham desperately needs to sort out problems in order to meet the air quality requirements.”
But, backing the proposal Wyatt Ramsdale, county councillor for Farnham South, said: “I think it finds 1. A quick way forward for funds to be used this year, and 2. Because it finds appropriate balance between the locations that need Lengthsman. As David’s taken lead on finding a sensible way to fund the Lengthsman scheme, both in his division and enabling divisions that also have lots of hedges and trees, it seems a very sensible way forward.”
Each divisional member was also allocated £10,000 for works, £4,000 for localism, £7,500 of the revenue highway fund and £8,666 from the parking surplus. All future Waverley Local Committee meetings are to be held in the Waverley Borough council chamber.