|Location Map ( geo)|
|Looking eastbound along the A31|
|A31 • B3001|
|Junctions related to the B3001|
There has been a road junction here for centuries, but originally it was a simple crossroads between South Street, Station Hill (which later became part of the B3001), Abbey Street and Darvill's Lane, and its main traffic flow was between the town centre and the station.
Its importance greatly increased following the construction of the A31 Farnham Bypass in 1946, originally single carriageway, which was simply plugged in at-grade to the junction. By the 1960s, the junction was a regular accident blackspot, leading to right turns being banned completely in 1964.
In 1966, the bypass was improved and partly dualled, though Firgrove Bridge, carrying the A31 under the A287 immediately to the west of the junction was not built wide enough for four lanes of traffic, so the A31 had to narrow to S2 under the bridge. In 1973, the creation of the Shepherd and Flock Roundabout improved access to the A31, widening the western approach road to four lanes, including a dedicated turn for the B3001 and three ahead lanes. Since the three ahead lanes on the A31 immediately narrowed to one under Firgrove Bridge, this contributed further to congestion. The junction still had five main roads meeting it, and now made access to and from Abbey Street dangerous and difficult, so the road was blocked at the eastern end in May 1975.
By 2000, the A31 was entirely dual carriageway between the A3 and the A32 except for the single carriagway between Hickley's Corner and Firgrove Bridge. Surrey County Council and Waverley Borough Council looked at full dualling and grade separation of the A31 through the junction, but concluded it would be prohibitively expensive. While an engineer's report concluded it was technically possible to fully dual under Firgrove Bridge, it would not meet modern health and safety requirements. As a compromise, the A31 is now two lanes westbound from Hickley's Corner, and one lane eastbound approaching it. At the same time, the speed limit on the A31 approaching the junction was reduced from 70mph to 50mph, and full traffic signals installed.
The junction continues to raise safety concerns, as it mixes foot traffic from the station into town with vehicular traffic on a dual carriageway primary road. Surrey County Council have monitored the flow of traffic signals regularly to ensure a reliable and practical green phase for pedestrians. There remains no direct access to the A287 which still passes overhead on Firgrove Bridge; indeed, southbound traffic towards Hindhead is sent up the B3001 to the station, then across local roads.
M3, Camberley (A331)
|Town Centre, Odiham (A287)||Although the A287 is mere yards away and visible from the junction, this road is not officially part of it.|
|Hindhead (A287), Frensham, Station||Accessing the A287 is via local roads.|
- A31 Farnham Bypass Interim Measures - report on early 2000s changes by Surrey County Council.