PAVEMENTS are to be widened on both sides of Downing Street and The Borough in Farnham this weekend, to support social distancing when more shops start reopening on Monday.

It is hoped the measures will give residents the confidence to support their local retailers as lockdown measures are eased.

There will be a single lane for cars, signage will encourage HGVs to avoid the area and an advisory 20mph speed limit will be put in place.

The pavement-widening plans were jointly developed by Surrey County Council and Farnham Town Council.

They are due to be installed on Friday night, with the intention they will be in operation for an initial 12 weeks. It will be kept under review throughout this time.

Planters will be added by the town council to separate pedestrians and cars and enhance the appearance of the scheme.

Recent resurfacing carried out by Surrey County Council in The Borough and Downing Street, and pavement reconstruction in Castle Street and West Street, supports this work.

Park Row will also be closed at the junction with Castle Street, preventing all vehicles accessing the road at that point except for cyclists and pedestrians.

Tim Oliver, leader of Surrey County Council, said: “It is really important to support our local traders as we emerge from the lockdown, and help residents feel they can safely return to our high streets.

“This is why I’m pleased we’ve been able to come up with this package of measures for Farnham.

“This will also give us a valuable insight as we work with the town council and Waverley Borough Council on a package of measures to improve transport in and around Farnham.

“This includes how we can improve the town centre for walkers and cyclists.”

Councillor John Neale, leader of Farnham Town Council, said: “We are pleased to have had the chance to work with Surrey County Council on shaping this scheme and to input our local knowledge.

“The scheme is the first of many initiatives designed to make the town centre more safe and accessible for pedestrians and at the same time support our business community who continue to face challenges.

“We hope this first phase will provide shoppers with the opportunity to shop locally in a safer and more pleasant environment and would encourage everyone to support our local Farnham businesses.

“The initial scheme will inevitably need adapting in light of experience and we welcome feedback from the Farnham community.”