FARNHAM town centre’s controversial social-distancing barriers and temporary kerb cones are still necessary to combat Covid-19, insist county councillors.

The point was reiterated at Surrey County Council’s Waverley Local Committee last Friday, after the barriers and pavement-widening cones were criticised once again.

Farnham Residents Party borough councillor Jerry Hyman said: “Does the committee accept the validity of facts submitted by businesses and residents that the system is not fit for purpose?”

But fellow committee members disputed his comments about the measures aimed at making the town Covid safer for shoppers.

Farnham North county councillor Stephen Spence, also Farnham Residents Party, said: “Those are not ‘facts’, they are views expressed by some traders – and there is a strong counter opinion that we do need to take steps to deal with Covid.

“The Farnham Project Board has looked at the Covid measures, and on balance agreed they should continue.”

Members also heard improvements had been made to the town-centre scheme, including replacing the barriers with planters.

Farnham South Conservative county councillor Wyatt Ramsdale said: “The real problem is the through traffic, like the HGV we saw trapped at the bottom of Castle Street on the front page of the Herald a few weeks ago.

“We need to get those trucks out of the town and on to the M3, A331 and A3, and should reclassify the A-roads through the town centre to minor roads so they can be narrowed further.”

Another Farnham Residents Party member, county councillor Andy MacLeod, said retailers were “split 50/50” over the measures, and added emergency gas and flooding works were also to blame for the recent “chaos.”

But Bourne borough councillor Carole Cockburn said: “I have received masses of emails on this, and people are not happy.

“Farnham is dire – it’s a very bad advertisement for Surrey County Council’s work in the town, and we must acknowledge people are very angry.”

Waverley Western Villages borough councillor David Harmer added: “It is a real problem for people in the villages trying to get from south to north.

“It just isn’t working.”