Bromley Council's refusal to install a pelican crossing at Chislehurst War Memorial “discriminates against the most vulnerable", according to a road safety campaign group.

Cllr Willinam Huntingdon-Thresher confirmed a crossing would not be built due to concerns over increased congestion and pollution at full council on Monday, after Chislehurst Safer Streets presented a petition signed by 3000 residents.

The long-campaigning group says the war memorial is the only major junction on the A222 which fails to offer pedestrians "safe and controlled" crossing.

Speaking in support of the petition Mrs Sophie Sear, Headteacher at St Nicholas CE Primary School, said:

“We are concerned that our families, especially those who have young children in hand or in pushchairs, are being put unnecessarily at risk when crossing the junction at the War Memorial.

"We want to encourage our families to walk to school but it’s simply not acceptable that they cannot cross that busy road without the security of a green man saying the traffic is stopped.”

The petition gained the support of Labour councillors at the meeting, but was voted against by the majority Tory group.

Chilsehurst Safer Streets says the war memorial has a history of bad crashes, and that previous schemes touted by the council, such as widening the A222 or installing a roundabout at the crossroads, would not solve the problem.

Chris Wells, founder of Chislehurst Safer Streets, said: “The Council’s position favours drivers passing through Chislehurst.

"Our petition was for the young, elderly, vulnerable and disabled who live, work or go to school here.

"Their fight is out fight. We will not give in.”

Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, Executive Councillor for Environment and Community Services said: “Road Safety remains an ever present high priority, with this particular junction being carefully considered for a controlled crossing point over the years.

"The reality is that the installation of a pedestrian phase without a redesign of the junction would undoubtedly increase congestion, not just at the junction itself but also in the surrounding local roads, actually and ironically, causing an even bigger road safety issue.

"The highway land available in the vicinity of the War Memorial does not currently permit redesign of this junction.

"If we inadvertently create more rat-running, then we will see more collisions on previously quieter residential roads.

"Busy residential roads due to rat-running will result in more roads becoming intimidating, especially to more vulnerable residents, limiting independence, with all the impacts this also brings.

"It should be noted that in 2018, there was not one recorded collision at this junction where someone has been injured and sometimes at busy junctions, the additional care we all naturally take can mean that a junction is actually safer than it might at first appear.”

*Article amended to show Labour did support motion