HEADTEACHERS worried about the safety of children at the school gate have launched petitions to highlight the issue.

With many cars using roads outside schools as rat runs, large numbers of children coming by car because they live outside the catchment area, and minimal parking facilities, parents and teachers fear an accident is waiting to happen.

On Monday, children at Gomeldon School handed a petition to Wiltshire councillor Mike Hewitt.

Headteacher Pam Bassindale said: “It’s of great concern that while we are trying to do everything we can to ensure the safety of children, we are told nothing more can be done because there hasn’t been a fatality – that’s exactly what we are trying to avoid.”

The school, which wants a crossing put in place, has introduced various measures to improve safety – including a parents’ waiting area – and is hoping to train a lollipop person as soon as possible.

Winterbourne Earls School is currently collecting signatures to support an application for a flashing school sign to warn motorists they are approaching a school.

Headteacher Jenny Purchase said: “The A338 is a very busy road and we have numerous lorries coming through on top of all those who use it as a cut-through.”

David Rolfe, headteacher of St Nicholas School in Porton, is hoping traffic-calming measures will be put in place near his school.

He said: “The parish council is looking into whether it is possible to extend the zigzag lines outside the school, which we use as a drop-off zone.”

About 65 per cent of all children attending the three schools come from outside the catchment area and most travel by car.

Cllr Hewitt said: “Every school needs to have an up-to-date travel plan so we know what the problems are and we will then look at getting bulk funding and safety grants for the next two to three years.”