Councillors have voted against proposals for speed bumps near a primary school.

The council was asked to look into introducing a 20mph zone covering Cromer Road, Shaftesbury Avenue and Bulwer Road, in High Barnet, by Labour leader Barry Rawlings in February this year.

Safety concerns had been raised by Cromer Road Primary School, as the speed of traffic in the area was making pupils fearful of crossing the road.

But councillors did not want to introduce speed bumps on the roads – and officers said signs alone would not cut vehicle speeds.

High Barnet councillor Julian Teare said: “All the High Barnet councillors agree that 20mph limit should go in, but we expressly say we do not want [speed] humps, for a number of reasons.

“They would reduce parking, cause cars to slam up and down, and generally speaking just be an absolute nuisance.”

A report by the council revealed the areas – currently in a 30mph zone – had seen three minor accidents in the space of five years, while speed surveys recorded average speeds only just above 20mph.

Strategic director of environment Jamie Blake said: “When we put in a 20mph zone, it has to be a physical measure that makes an attempt to help slow traffic down. Just putting up signs does not slow traffic down.

“Because of the issue around parking in this area, measures such as islands and such like would reduce parking, so what we have suggested is a vertical measure to slow the traffic down.”

The borough’s policy is that it only implements ‘vertical speed calming measures’ – i.e. speed bumps – in exceptional circumstances.

Mr Blake added: “We don’t put in 20mph zones because they give the perception of safety, and people think that traffic is moving at a slower speed, because people naturally assume that drivers take notice of these signs.

“Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

“The police don’t enforce 20mph zones; they enforce 30mph, as far as the speed is concerned.

“It has to have a physical measure – but as we have said in this report, the only physical measure we could come up with that doesn’t adversely affect the parking in the area, is ‘sleeping police’ [speed bumps].”

The cost of installing speed bumps was estimated at £39,500.

Build-outs into the road – which would have cost £51,000 – were rejected because they would lead to a loss of parking spaces and the fact that parked cars already act as traffic-calming measures.

When the issue was put to a vote, the three Labour committee members voted in favour of speed-calming measures, while the four Conservative members voted against.