BECAUSE of the restrictions of the Covid-19 lockdown, there have been far fewer cars and lorries on the streets of Farnham.
The problems of town-centre air (and noise) pollution have, temporally, disappeared.
Without the weight of heavy traffic, individuals and family groups have started to venture out and reclaim the streets for their daily exercise and shopping trips.
It begs the question: can we get past the lockdown as soon as possible while still allowing people to safely and confidently walk and cycle around our town?
Developing a segregated ‘cycle superhighway’ across the town centre is one of the measures to control Farnham’s air pollution already under discussion and it’s a critical first step for the people of the town to retain the freedom to walk and cycle their streets.
The Farnham Cycle Campaign is working on a comprehensive plan for a network of routes to seamlessly connect all the outlying villages and settlements in the town to the centre, to each other, and to the surrounding countryside and towns.
As well as providing the vision and planning for a more active and enjoyable travel experience, this Local Cycle and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) is also the key to bidding to central government for the additional funds to transform the town, helping make pollution a thing of the past.
The map on the right has been released by Farnham Cycle Campaign to give people a glimpse of a Dutch-style cycling network where people choose to leave their cars at home and hop on to a bike – or an electric-assist bike – to speed up their journey into our congested town-centre roads and car parks.
In doing so, they, like the Dutch, would find inches disappearing off their waistline without ever pumping iron at the gym or training for a marathon.
Electric-assist bikes have been a game changer in recent years, with people from San Francisco to Zurich finding they make hills disappear and can cost as little as £399.
Every person who leaves their car at home makes driving and parking easier for the few who have no option but to use a car, so even ‘petrol heads’ should welcome the idea of getting more people off the road and on to segregated cycle tracks!
* By Pete Goodman, of the Farnham Cycling Campaign