Does Surrey County Council leader speak with forked tongue?

Residents ask Surrey’s leader Tim Oliver when he will take a common sense approach to Farnham’s shocking traffic problems.

One of our followers has written to Surrey’s leader about his concerns over comments made at a recent meeting between Farnham, Surrey, and Waverley Councils.

He says:  You stated earlier this year that the two-way part of the scheme in The Borough in Farnham would…

” see a widening of the pavements and that the bus stop (Bus stop A, at the Queen’s Head) would have to be moved.” 

to which the Leader of Farnham Town Council commented that such a move...

“would have consequences.”

So Clifford Jones asks  Mr Oliver.

So has the Farnham Infrastucture  Plan now been signed off as you stated that it would be by this date?

You then wrapped up the session noting the sign off was in April. So,  Bus stop A was thus doomed without a home. I duly sought confirmation of this from  Highways and am still awaiting a formal response?

He also noted that a  new widened junction at the Royal Deer had also appeared.

Might I suggest someone demonstrates how a bus manages to turn left or right safely without having to swing into the new wider pavement that now will have no barrier. It would be useful to know where bus stop A will be end up.

As for the Royal Deer crossroads, an immediate discussion with the designers might save much time effort and money.

From: Tim Oliver <>Date: Wed, 3 May 2023,13:57
Subject: RE: Farnham Infrastructure Plan

Please note we have not corrected the punctuation or grammatical errors.

Dear Mr Jones,

Thank you for your email, and your observations have been forwarded to officers.

To confirm the Farnham Infrastructure team are still in the feasibility stage for the Town Centre Improvement scheme for the preferred option of the Summer 2022 public consultation. This includes potential changes to the Borough and Royal Deer junction; however, it does retain the bus stop you have referred.  As the design matures it will be publicised and discussed at the Farnham Board, details of which you can find here:

Committee details – Farnham Board – Surrey County Council (

Note the end of the You Tube footage of the meeting, which contradicts what Tim Oliver says.

He blithely removes the bus stop, and the Leader of Farnham Town Council comments. 

If the bus stop is retained all traffic will come to a stand still. Which is why Oliver banished it.

As for the Royal Deer, buses will not be able to safely turn without part of the body crossing the lowered kerb.

From: Tim Oliver Leader of Surrey County Council <>Mob: 07980774872

Senior PA Hannah Wyatt Email: Tel: 02085418003

Here’s another resident’s view.

Surrey County Council ‘desperately out of touch’ with Farnham roads chaos

By Tony Fairclough, Farnham Residents councillor for The Bourne

West Street is currently closed between Coxbridge roundabout and The Chantrys

West Street closed between the Coxbridge roundabout and The Chantrys. 

Who cares about Farnham’s roads or the frequent gridlocks in our town centre?

Certainly not Surrey County Council (SCC), whose highways department (responsible for our roads) seems desperately out of touch and unable to cope or communicate effectively.

The only people who care about Farnham’s traffic problems are those who walk, cycle and (attempt to!) drive in and around the town. That’s why we must listen to them and need local politicians who live in Farnham and live with the town’s traffic problems themselves.

Farnham cannot rely on external authorities to act in the town’s best interests. By digging up West Street without consultation with the town council, South East Water has brought Farnham to a standstill. This cannot happen again.

The recent incident denying emergency services access through Downing Street exemplifies the failed, unbalanced relationship with SCC. Farnham residents want the removal of the planters in Downing Street, yet they must remain until SCC finally implements what it has agreed to do and widen the pavements.

Farnham residents can’t wait for expensive, long-term ‘solutions’ that will take years. They want a localised, commonsense approach that delivers practical, affordable answers to our town centre gridlock – now.

They want dedicated traffic wardens patrolling the circuit around South Street, Union Street, Downing Street and The Borough, preventing and penalising parking on double yellow lines or unloading outside permitted hours.

They want the direct rail service to Guildford (a boon to Alton and Bentley that often makes Station Hill a no-through road, increasing the congestion on Firgrove Hill) reconsidered.

None of the above involves massive capital expenditure, and all would reduce congestion in and around the town centre. The residents of Farnham know this, and so do Farnham Residents’ candidates.

It’s time both were given greater responsibility over Farnham’s roads.

Tony Fairclough

Farnham Residents councillor for The Bourne

One thought on “Does Surrey County Council leader speak with forked tongue?”

  1. What about air quality?

    Surrey CC local transport plan (LTP4)
    “Air quality is key to the health of humans and ecosystems. The Environment Act (1995) requires borough and district councils to identify Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) where current or future air quality is unlikely to meet national air quality objectives, and to develop Air Quality Action Plans to tackle poor air quality in these areas.”

    Surrey Policy statement
    “Achieving a smooth flow of traffic brings benefits to road users through better journey time reliability and a more pleasant driving experience. Reducing congestion also helps businesses, improves road safety and reduces emissions of carbon and local pollutants.”

    Both district and county councils have statutory responsibilities for Farnham’s air quality and are required to cooperate in reviewing and deciding management measures.

    So why does Farnham still have an Air Quality Management Area? Choosing to approve major developments without an Environmental Impact Assessment doesn’t help. This removes the legal obligation of the developer to provide a description of the significant effects that their development has on the Farnham environment during construction and completion and to provide confirmation that their use of natural resources and infrastructure is sustainable.

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