Bromley parents have asked the council to add zebra crossings outside two primary schools, claiming the school run feels like an ‘accident waiting to happen’.

Residents have started a petition urging Bromley Council to add traffic calming measures outside Crofton Infant and Junior schools in Petts Wood, Orpington.

The petition, signed by 1,436 people, was started by Karina Malka-Tollefsen, 36.

The mum said she began the campaign when she started walking with her two year old child to the school last September to drop off her five-year-old when they started at Crofton Infant School.

News Shopper: The petition calls for zebra crossings to be added to Towncourt Lane and Crofton Lane, shown here (Credit: Joe Coughlan)The petition calls for zebra crossings to be added to Towncourt Lane and Crofton Lane, shown here (Credit: Joe Coughlan)

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “I realised there is no official crossing and the traffic is so intense. Obviously that was quite surprising, that there are no security measures around such a big school.”

She added: “[When crossing the road] the car on the right will let [parents] go and when they are already in the middle of the street with children, the car on the left doesn’t stop and goes by just in front of them. It’s very dangerous and it occurs almost every day to someone.”

The petition was discussed at a Bromley Council meeting on March 11.

Conservative Councillor Nicholas Bennett, portfolio holder for road safety, confirmed that funding from Transport for London had been approved to carry out a study on road safety in the area around the schools.

The portfolio holder said the study would determine what type of improvements in the area would be most beneficial, but council documents maintained that adding formal crossings was not certain.

Ms Malka-Tollefsen said she and other petitioners were not satisfied that budget constraints was a relevant reason for not adding the crossings.

She said: “There are always other expenses. So with the budget constraints, I don’t think that really speaks to us. There’s so many children attending the school that covers a large portion of the community here.”

Data from states that six incidents involving serious injuries had occurred since 2018 on Crofton Lane and Towncourt Lane, which the schools sit on.

Data collected by the petitioners also stated 76 parents at the school had experienced near misses when dropping their kids off or picking them up from the schools.

One parent said in their response to the petition: “I was a witness and immediate first aider to a pupil’s father knocked down by a car, driven by a grandmother transporting her grandchild. He was hospitalised with head injuries. Needless to say, I was not surprised this happened.”

Charlotte Grievson, 40, was also involved in organising the petition and has two children attending the schools, aged five and eight-years-old.

She said Bromley Council had asked the petitioners to acquire more data on traffic movements outside the school when initially responding to the petition.

Ms Grievson told the LDRS: “I feel like the council is making unreasonable requests of us for data and making us jump through hoops. It’s just all part of this thing that makes us feel like they’re just trying to get rid of us.”

She added: “The school run at the moment is really stressful and it’s not the council’s responsibility to make it less stressful for us… But it’s our job to keep our children safe and to let the council know if there’s something dangerous. It’s not our job to actually find the data, it’s ridiculous.”

Ms Grievson said parents were open minded about potential traffic solutions proposed by the council. She also said she felt the council could focus money better on the issue.

She said: “Their financial management is shocking, and then to be told there’s no money for a basic crossing outside a kid’s primary school. It’s insulting.”

She added: “It just kind of manifests in feeling really anxious on the school run and holding the kids tight and seeing near misses. It feels really stressful… People fly down the road. The roundabout causes a lot of problems and you see people cutting the corners. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

A Bromley Council spokesperson told the LDRS that the borough had a good road safety record and reducing casualties, particularly deaths and serious injuries, remained a priority to the council. They said the authority was committed to completing the traffic study on the roads around the Crofton schools before October this year.

They added: “The council works with schools across the borough to support school travel plans, which also includes the Crofton schools as well. We recognise the concerns outlined by some parents and other local residents and the key message is that we will carefully examine all these concerns as part of the promised study, with the location outside the infants school being a particular focus.”