‘Don’t leave it too late’, say parents anxious for zebra crossings outside two Bromley schools

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

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 the local authority 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.

“I realised there is no official crossing and the traffic is so intense,” she said. “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 (TfL) had been approved to carry out a study on road safety in the area around the schools.

He 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.

Data from states that six incidents involving serious injuries had occurred since 2018 in Crofton Lane and Towncourt Lane – the roads in which the schools are situated.

Towncourt Lane – the busy road where the schools are located (Picture: Joe Coughlan)

Data collected by the petitioners also stated that 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.”

Charlotte Grievson, 40, was also involved in organising the petition and has two children attending the schools, aged five and eight. She said the council had requested evidence from the petitioners to back their request for crossings.

She said: “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. It’s not our job to actually find the data, it’s ridiculous. 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 spokesman said the authority was committed to completing the traffic study on the roads around the Crofton schools before October this year.

They added: “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.”

Pictured top: Charlotte Grievson, who said she and other parents have felt ‘really anxious’ while dropping off their children at school (Picture: Joe Coughlan)


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