Lewisham Council has proposed the installation of a new crossing near schools in Ladywell – to the delight of an action group who believes it should have been in place ten years ago.

Get Across Action Group is formed of parents and carers whose children attend Prendergast Ladywell primary and secondary school - as they believe Manwood Road is dangerous to cross and see “near misses” everyday.

The group has been fighting for a crossing to be installed since around 2016.

The proposal on the Lewisham Council consultation website says: “We are proposing to install a new crossing on Manwood Road – next to the junction with Ewhurst Road – to improve road safety, encourage walking and cycling and make it safer for pupils travelling to and from Prendergast Ladywell School.

“The current proposals include a new zebra crossing for pedestrians combined with an adjacent cycle crossing (sometimes referred to as a ‘tiger’ crossing), realigning the kerb to increase pavement space and restricting the left turn out of Ewhurst Road (west side) onto Manwood Road.”

Local residents and interested parties now have until December 6 to share their thoughts, concerns and comments on the planned crossing.

The Action Group sees this proposal and consultation as a positive step forward, although they emphasize that celebrations will be reserved until the crossing is physically in place.

Yael Biran, a parent who launched the action group, told the News Shopper: “I think it's amazing to be honest. It is a really positive forward step.

“I think we're keeping the champagne tucked away until spades are in the ground and we can see a crossing - then we'll celebrate.

“I think, the first letter of inquiry was sent in 2016 because the school opened in 2015, and it was not supposed to open without a crossing and after that people began questioning it. So, it's been a long, long road.”

The action group claims that in 2013 planning permission was granted to build the primary school beside the existing Pendergast secondary - on the condition that a crossing was installed prior to any children occupying the new school, but the primary opened the following year without any crossing.

Lewisham Council has said that this original location plan was not deemed suitable at the time due to the “road layout and restricted visibility”.

This Is Local London: Parents and children took to the streets of Lewisham to campaign for the installation of a crossing Parents and children took to the streets of Lewisham to campaign for the installation of a crossing (Image: Samer Moukarzel)

In 2016, an alternative zebra crossing was installed 300m away from the original location, but the group says that this is not suitable as the crossing is “nowhere near the point where hundreds of risk their lives crossing the busy road every day.”

Yael started the campaign due to concerns about the dangerous road near the school.

Yael explained: “I remember walking my son to school and he was on a scooter and. I just saw him cross that road and I was so scared. I was just so scared.

“I decided that we have to do something about it and then the more I dug into it, I realized that loads of people had been in the same place as I had and tried to do something about it but it just didn’t go anywhere”

She highlighted the collaborative effort of the group, consisting of parents, carers, and community members, in pushing for this essential safety measure.

The group, comprised of eight core members and supported by a larger community group, decided to take action by collecting data and evidence to support their case.

They conducted a week-long traffic count, took pictures, and gathered information to present a compelling case for the need for a crossing.

The community group also engaged in outreach by distributing leaflets to residents living near the proposed crossing site - addressing potential concerns about roadworks or inconveniences.

Earlier this year in March, parents and children took streets of Lewisham to campaign for the installation of a crossing near a primary and secondary school.

The protest came complete with an inflatable zebra crossing and many passionate pupils holding signs.

Vivien Nicholls, Head of Prendergast Primary, said: "It is almost 10 years since our primary school opened and we have grown from having just 60 pupils to over 400, many whom have to cross Manwood Road to get to school.

"I am so grateful to our local community, parents, students and the ‘Get Across’ campaign who have worked so hard."

Gina Fryer, a parent of a child who attends the primary school, previously said: “A child has already been hit and there are near misses every day.

“How can we support our children to be independent travellers when there are no safety measures in place to keep them from harm?

“Speed bumps and a couple of signs are not having the desired effect and putting a crossing 10 minutes up the road away from the school was a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The Council have put a school there and quite frankly they need to put this right before a child gets killed.”

To have your say about the proposal of the crossing, go to the Lewisham consultation site and search Road Crossing at Manwood Road.