Merton Council will not install a zebra crossing outside Park Community School despite calls by worried parents for them to take action.

The Merton Park school sits on the corner of Dorset Road and Morden Road.

While Dorset Road has a 20mph speed limit, Lisa Harris says because of the proximity to the A24 that cars regularly exit this junction at speed, putting the lives of students at risk.

"Beyond the every day experiences of the school community - since August 2018 we have photographic evidence of many crashes on Dorset Road immediately outside school: a car hitting the tree outside the 'kiss and drop' area; a parent having their car door badly damaged whilst dropping off their child; and a vehicle turning from Daybrook Road and colliding with one on Dorset Road," she said.

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Kiss and drop crash

"We also know there have been other incidents. To paraphrase the council they do not take this kind of evidence into consideration unless someone is injured or killed."

The latest crash took place on February 10 when a pedestrian was his around 3pm.

Mrs Harris and nearly 200 others who have signed a petition want the council to install a zebra crossing outside the school.

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Family crossing the road

But the council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Transport, Martin Whelton, said that the location does not meet the criteria as "there is a low volume of footfall" and to date "there have been no recorded accidents involving pedestrians" reported to them by police.

"We take road safety incredibly seriously and will always investigate recorded personal injury accidents to ensure our roads are made safer using an evidence-based approach," he said.

"However, when deciding where to put new zebra crossings, we follow a criteria set out by the Department for Transport. We prioritise available public funds to improve locations that have a proven road safety risk.

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"We understand that there have been a small number of minor vehicle accidents in the past few years, but we can only act when the police escalate these cases to us after deeming them to be serious accidents or accidents involving vulnerable road users – this has not happened."

To highlight their need for a crossing on Dorset Road, parents, teachers and students held a peaceful protest at the school last week.

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At the protest they held up signs which read "a pedestrian was knocked over outside our school this week" and Merton Council, we deserve a safe place to cross the road."

Instead of a zebra crossing, the council has proposed a speed table accompanied by a narrowing of the road by a maximum of 1 meter. The existing speed cushions on Dorset Road between the school and the A24 would be removed.

But Mrs Harris said this proposal is "totally inadequate."

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"After three years of the school community raising issues with them about the conditions and safety of the road, they have not addressed any of these in their proposal," she added.

"We also know that our school is being offered less compared to many other schools in the borough.

"Whilst we initially asked for a zebra crossing and still believe this is the safest option, we have even tried to be flexible over the years and also proposed a central refuge with traffic islands similar to one put in for secondary school children at the other end of Dorset Road."

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The consultation period for the council's proposal ends on February 28.

Cllr Whelton added that the evidence for a zebra crossing "isn't compelling."

"When the school obtained planning permission in 2016, the school’s planning consultants did not identify a need for a controlled crossing," he said.

"We are however, consulting on a suitable alternative crossing provision and we welcome feedback from residents and all other road users.”

Click here to view the petition