Calls for 20mph zones to be put in place outside all Bromley schools have been played down by the council.

The long-standing argument for blanket speed limits in the borough rumbled on last night as a petition with hundreds of signatures, collected by the Green Party, was handed into the local authority.

The campaign, backed by more than 500 people, calls for lower limits outside schools and other “places of need”.

The petition reads: “Although statistically Bromley has a low number of accidents, this is probably because residents are too scared to walk!

“We would like to see children walk to school to start them off in a healthy lifestyle. This would save the NHS money.

“There is a comparatively small budget for road safety in Bromley. We feel safety should be a priority, prevention rather than cure.”

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Recent reports claim little evidence exists supporting 20mph speed limits, but there is a growing number of authorities which are implementing them to try and reduce road causalities.

Councils such as Bristol, Brighton and Manchester have all adopted the policies, but there has been mixed feedback on its success.

The petition, which the Labour Party supported, was handed into William Huntington Thresher, the cabinet member for the environment.

He ruled out enforcing blanket limit for the second time in four months, saying priority must go to roads where they know accidents happen.

“Where we do have roads where there have been life-changing accidents, they must be the priority for our spend,” he said.

“We do have some money for reducing danger but priority for our funding must be in places where we know accidents are happening.

“We work with schools to educate children in terms of road safety – looking after the safety of our children is jointly owned between parents, the community and the council. We work with all schools that engage with us.

“People look at 20mph in the sense that people who won’t obey 30mph will go 10mph slower – they will still ignore the speed limits.”

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan pledged earlier this year to bring speeds down in some key areas of the capital as part of a plan to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on the capital’s roads by 2020.

Around nine miles of roads in the centre of London will be cut to 20mph in the next two years, including Victoria Embankment and Tower Hill.

During a recent study, just 51 per cent of drivers were found to reduce their speed following blanket speed limits.

Lowering speed limits has been backed by MP for Lewisham East and Penge Ellie Reeves.

She said earlier this year: “I believe we need to do all that we can to make our roads as safe as possible, particularly in residential areas.

“Since my election in 2017, I have received many requests from constituents in Bromley asking me to take action on reducing speeding on residential roads. This has included Church Road, Crystal Palace Park Road, Forster Road, Hamlet Road and Patterson Road.

“There is more the council can do to reduce speeding such as speed bumps, speed cameras and implementing a 20mph zone in residential areas.”