Destination Farnham Road - Levelling Up Fund Bid

Closes 31 Dec 2022

Opened 2 Aug 2022

Overview

We are Slough Borough Council’s Transport Planning team. We plan changes to our roads, footways and public realm.

Why your views matter

Background

The UK Government has launched Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund (LUF2). LUF2 is designed to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. The £4.8 billion fund will support town centre and high street regeneration, local transport projects, and cultural and heritage assets. Across the UK, local authorities are eligible to submit bids for the Fund, which was announced at the government’s Spring Statement 2022, and we are submitting a bid.

For more details of the Levelling Up Fund see:

Levelling Up the United Kingdom (UK Government website)

Levelling Up Fund Round 2: prospectus (UK Government website)

Our bid - "Destination Farnham Road"

Slough Borough Council’s bid focuses on two proposed interrelated transport capital investment schemes, which would improve multi-modal transport options and add value by increasing access to employment, housing, leisure and culture, both locally and more widely across the region.

Each proposed scheme responds to specific infrastructure requirements, which, when combined, would deliver a package of significant sustainable transport improvements and public realm upgrades that would:

  1. stimulate economic activity, and improve safety and connectivity, to strengthen the identity of Farnham Road (between its junctions with Essex Avenue and Sheffield Road) as a key destination
  2. Improve bus priority and accessibility to bus stops on Farnham Road

Such capital investment would also help to:

  • refresh dated public realm
  • reallocate road space to improve connectivity to and around the borough by sustainable modes (including walking, cycling and buses)
  • improve the health and economic wellbeing of residents, employees and visitors by encouraging them to engage in a range of activities and establishing connected, vibrant, cohesive spaces for recreation, business and social opportunity
  • unlock and consolidate one of the borough’s district centres as a distinct, attractive and thriving destination while improving connections to existing transport hubs across the borough and beyond

 

Farnham Road Public Realm

We want to improve the public realm of Farnham Road (between its junctions with Essex Avenue and Sheffield Road), including introducing safer pedestrian areas, and to improve cycling infrastructure, improve access to local shops and businesses for users of all modes of transport, and reduce car dominance and car use.

We also want to enhance the landscape of the area, restore a sense of place, and identify Farnham Road (between its junctions with Essex Avenue and Sheffield Road) as a distinctive location by strengthening and communicating the area’s character and identity.

We are looking at both sides of Farnham Road between its junctions with Essex Avenue and Sheffield Road.

A successful bid would help to unlock and consolidate this district centre as a key destination. The parade of shops already experiences good footfall, and a number of restaurants and shops attract both lunchtime and evening trade.

A capital investment would help to refresh dated public realm and reallocate road space to reinforce this area’s identity as a key destination, improve connectivity to and around the district centre by sustainable modes of transport, and improve road safety outcomes. By revitalising this area, we would help Farnham Road to become a vibrant, cohesive space for recreation, business and social opportunity.

Figure 1: An artist's impression - possible changes for Farnham Road

The scheme proposal aims to:

  • provide public realm improvements to enhance a place where residents’ daily needs can be met within a short walk or cycle
  • improve access to the parade for all and reduce road danger
  • promote healthy lifestyles and offer travel choices to improve residents' health 
  • ensure that car parking is optimised, with spaces where they are needed

 By creating:

  • A new enhanced setting for the district centre including planting and street scene improvements

    Photo 1: The existing infrastructure is dated, with clutter on the footways

  • Improved access to the shops, including clear routes and improved crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists

    Photo 2: The existing crossings need upgrading, with considered pedestrian and cyclist improvements

  • Improvements around the shops for parking, passenger drop-off points and deliveriess

    Photo 3: The existing space prioritises vehicles; optimising road space would improve the journey experience for all users


 

Farnham Road Bus Accessibility

Farnham Road has a good daytime bus service, with direct links to various parts of the Borough and neighbouring authorities, but the buses can be delayed by traffic congestion. All buses serving Farnham Road are low floor, providing good access to older and disabled people, including wheelchair users, but access to the bus stops is sometimes blocked by parked vehicles, preventing this.

We want to improve the reliability and journey time of buses on Farnham Road by upgrading and revising the phasing of the traffic signals along the full length of Farnham Road within the Borough. We also want to improve access to the bus stops by adjusting their locations where needed, by introducing parking restrictions to prevent vehicles blocking access, and by improving footways and removing clutter.

There is currently little bus priority on Farnham Road, with two stretches of southbound bus lane at the southern end of the road - one in operation at peak times only and one in operation at all times, and bus reliability and journey times are still affected by traffic congestion at certain times of the day.

Figure 1: Extent of proposed Farnham Road Bus Accessibility Scheme

[AWAITING IMAGE]

The proposed scheme would include:

  • upgrading and revising the phasing of the traffic signals along the full length of Farnham Road within the Borough
  • adjusting bus stop locations where needed, filling in laybys if appropriate
  • reviewing, and adjusting where needed, traffic calming measures, to reduce the impact on bus journey times and passenger comfort
  • reviewing, and upgrading or adding where needed, traffic regulation orders, providing protection from parking and loading to bus stops
  • de-cluttering footways and improving footway surfacing, providing better access to, and waiting areas at, bus stops
  • upgrading lighting around bus stops
  • upgrading bus stops with real time information screens and fixed timetable information
  • providing wayfinding totem signs along the road

We don’t propose at this stage to introduce additional stretches of bus lane on Farnham Road but we may be able to amend the existing stretches.

These proposed improvements would complement the proposed improvements to the public realm on Farnham Road (between its junctions with Essex Avenue and Sheffield Road) (see above), and would encourage and support use of the bus to and from the north of the borough and beyond.

We are aware that the bridge over the railway line is a particular ‘pinch point’ which affects journey times for buses and other traffic. However, due to the high cost we are not able to include any changes to the bridge in the proposed scheme.

 

Consultation

We consulted residents, commuters, businesses and stakeholders to give them an opportunity for them to have their say on the vision for each of the three proposed schemes and provide some general feedback on how they could be improved, as we had not yet prepared detailed designs for them.

We asked them how they currently use these areas and facilities, to list any existing problems that need addressing, and to tell us about improvements they would like to see and any potential issues with our vision.

Their insight, feedback and views are important as they will help us to shape the proposed schemes and to draw up detailed designs.

We asked people to talk to their neighbours and the local community and get them involved!

The consultation closed on Thursday 30 June 2022 and we used the insight provided to prepare our bid.

 

Further information

If you would like further information about these schemes and our bid:

  • email us at TransportPlanning@slough.gov.uk, or
  • write to us at Transport, Slough Borough Council, Observatory House, 25 Windsor Road, Slough SL1 2EL, or
  • call us on 01753 475111 (asking for a message and your contact details to be passed to the Transport team)

Please state "Destination Farnham Road"

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Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Local Transport Plan