A string of accidents and near-misses caused by speeding motorists have led to calls for more 20mph zones.

Hundreds of people have signed petitions calling on the council to impose lower speed limits near schools in Chipping Barnet.

The calls led one councillor at Tuesday’s (July 2) Chipping Barnet area committee to suggest the council review its policy on the zones.

More than 330 people signed petitions calling for a 20mph zone on Myddleton Park and Queens Avenue, which are used by children attending five nearby schools.

A resident who spoke in support of the petition told the committee: “Myddleton Park is a dangerous rat run that is heavily congested during school runs.

“Excessive speeds are often experienced on Myddleton Park, and there are frequent accidents on this road – including, we understand, a child being knocked down.”

Meanwhile, nearly 600 people signed a petition calling for a 20mph zone in Cromer Road – although discussion of the issue was pushed back to the next committee meeting in October.

The campaign was launched after near-misses involving pupils at Cromer Road Primary School.

Philippa Whitecross, who started the petition, said: “It is disappointing the issue has been put back from July to October.

“I know there has not been an incident yet, but living round there, it seems it is something waiting to happen.

“How would people feel if something did occur while there is this ongoing delay?”

Nearly 100 people signed a petition for a 20mph zone on Alston Road, which is used by children walking to and from two nearby primary schools.

A resident speaking on behalf of lead petitioner Claire Knowles said speeding drivers had been causing problems for the past two decades.

He said: “One child was walking home recently and got hit on the arm by a car.

“Although it was a massive shock, there was no serious damage. When it happens again, it could be more serious.”

Labour councillor for Underhill Cllr Paul Edwards said: “It seems to me that area forums across the borough are receiving similar petitions and requests for 20mph zones.

“I wonder what the council’s position is corporately, and whether this is really a highways matter for the environment committee.”

Jamie Cooke, director of transportation and highway commissioning, said the council would look at 20mph zones as part of its long-term transport strategy and would also consider the issue at the environment committee.

The council will carry out studies at Myddleton Park and Cromer Road to determine how effective 20mph zones would be in improving safety.

But the committee did not propose further zones for Alston Road after officers said extending an existing 20mph zone near a zebra crossing would be unlikely to improve pedestrian safety.