A headteacher in Epsom has called for urgent changes to reduce congestion around her school.

The appeal comes after it emerged an ambulance was blocked and took 30 minutes to reach a schoolboy needing emergency help.

The potential dangers facing children and families walking to St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Epsom were laid out as parents, governors and the head teacher called for action to improve problems in roads leading to the school.

They said drivers mounting pavements to get past each other, heavily congested roads and restrictions on waiting times made Rosebank and Whitehorse Drive “dangerous”.

One parent said she had now been forced to ditch taking her disabled son to school by car and was wheeling him in his wheelchair. Another mum said her son, who has a heart condition, needed ambulances to have a clear route through.

Governors and the head teacher presented a petition signed by more than 800 people to members of Surrey County Council and Epsom and Ewell Local Committee on Monday, December 10.

Theresa Kenefick, head teacher of the school in Rosebank, said: “It’s with regret that governors of St Joseph’s present this petition to the council.”

She said they had tried a number of initiatives at the school including offering wrap-around care from 7.30am – 6.30pm, supervising ‘drop and go’ facilities and offering more after-school clubs to help spread out the amount of cars arriving to school.

She said two weeks previously an ambulance was called for a pupil needing emergency help at 8.30am, but it did not reach the school until 9am.

The problems, she said, had escalated after the school lost pedestrian and vehicle access via St Margaret Drive following a lengthy dispute with Abelea Green Management Committee who used their lawful right to prevent access.

This has meant that those who were accessing the school via St Margaret Drive are now having to enter by Rosebank or Whitehorse Drive.

These roads are also used by families getting to Rosebery Secondary School, Shapes Nursery and The Kindergarten Nursery – around 2,000 children every day.

The petition called for current waiting restrictions on St Margaret Drive and St Elizabeth Drive to be changed to allow parents to park between 8.30-9.15am, 11.40am-12.30pm and 2.30-4.30pm.

Her views were echoed by parents, but some residents also stood firm, submitting an opposing petition, signed by 84 people living in neighbouring roads.

Nick Bathurst, representing residents, said: “One of the main concerns with the subject matter of the petition is that any vehicle will be able to park there and not just those connected to the school.”

He said that by consenting to the petition presented by the governors, the committee would “effectively be voluntarily creating a primary school parking facility on a public road”.

The committee agreed to add the roads to their parking review, but to consider the situation again before a decision is made in March.