Neighbours of a secondary school which is set to expand are protesting that more pupils will exacerbate traffic problems.
Jayne Jennings, who lives near the all-girl Bentley Wood School in Bridges Road, Stanmore, is one of many homeowners who already complain of severe congestion at peak school times and parents evenings, and expect things to only get worse.
The academy is due to increase its intake to 210 pupils a year – an extra 30 children – from September, as part of Harrow Council’s £70million borough-wide project to create much-needed extra school places.
Mrs Jennings said: “We live very close to the school, and it is hard to describe the toll it takes on the area.
“People parking on the curbs, there’s people crashing into other cars – the congestion is unbelievable.
“It is just a ridiculous scenario, and now they are proposing to admit another 200 pupils.
“My partner is a fireman and every time children are dropped off at school, or parents park for parents evening, he points out all the hazards to me and it just is not safe.”
Mrs Jennings and other campaigners attended a consultation meeting at the school on Wednesday last week.
She added: “I am hoping to drum up local support for us.
“We need the school to look at using alternative access points and for the council to listen to our concerns before going ahead with the plan because the people in this area have had enough.”
The school is expanding using £2.1m secured by the council as part of its successful £34.3m bid to the Department for Education’s Targeted Basic Need Programme, designed to address a shortfall in school places.
Another £1.5m came from the same scheme to provide 24 places for children with special educational needs, particularly those with autistic spectrum disorders.
The council has hired consultants Mott McDonald to conduct transport assessments by the end of next month at each of the expanding schools to assess the problems and suggest mitigation.
A Harrow Council spokesman said: “The proposed expansion at Bentley Wood High School is part of Harrow’s plan to provide a fair start in life for every young person in the borough at a good, local school. Currently at the pre-planning stage, the council is working to make sure all the pieces are in place for a planning application to be made.
“Architects, builders, council officials and an independent travel consultant have now met with residents, and collected a number of different suggestions as to how the school traffic in their roads can be reduced.
“We will look at these suggestions seriously, and consider how they might be implemented, as well as any other ways to alleviate congestion near Bentley Wood High School. We will then present our findings to residents, before any planning application goes ahead.”