CONCERNED parents at a pre-school in Headington Quarry are campaigning for the county council to improve “dangerous road conditions”.

More than 500 residents, teachers, parents and councillors have signed a petition to ask Oxfordshire County Council to improve traffic calming measures outside Headington Quarry Foundation School.

Parents fearful for their children’s safety have asked the council to consider improving the road system, which has not been reviewed since speed bumps were put in place in 1991. But according to council officers there is “no specific budget available”.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith lobbied the council on the issue on behalf of families at the school.

Responding to a letter written by Mr Smith, deputy director of commercial property Mark Kemp said: “While it would be certainly feasible to provide additional or stronger traffic calming features, unfortunately we currently have no specific budget to make these changes.”

Parent Gena Leveson said traffic on Quarry School Place and Quarry Road has increased significantly since the London Road roadworks began in October last year.

The 39-year-old, who has two of her three children at the school, said: “It’s being used as a rat run. A lot of people cut through Quarry to get to Headington from the Eastern Bypass Road.

“Sometimes drivers will come on to the pavement during rush hour. It’s not safe, especially at a time when children are walking to school.”

“There shouldn’t have to be a death before the council does something.

“The traffic will continue to build as you’ve got expanding hospitals in Headington, and Oxford Brookes is also expanding.”

As a result of the council’s response, Mrs Leveson and fellow parents have gathered 500 signatures to appeal to the council to improve the traffic calming measures.

Headington Quarry Foundation School headteacher Lesley Carrington said: “Many of our families have to travel between Windmill Primary School and St Andrews Primary School to deliver children, and we encourage many parents to walk or cycle.

“It can be quite an anxious prospect to walk through all the traffic.

County councillor for Headington and Quarry Roz Smith said: “I don’t think it’s an adequate excuse that there is no money.

“The current provision allows cars to mount the pavements – it’s not a good design solution.

“We have had some near misses with cars and something needs to be done.”