THE headteacher of Collingwood College in Camberley fears building a burger bar at the Jolly Farmer roundabout could lead to tragedy.

Jerry Oddie believes Burger King's plan to turn the former Mongolian Barbeque restaurant into a drive-through could tempt students to dash across the A30 rather than use the footbridge.

He said: "The footbridge was built after a student was killed on the A30 years ago. We take a pretty strong line with students who fail to use it.

"But however much we try to discipline students to use the bridge it is inevitable that some will take the short cut across the road to get to the drive-through.

"I think it is the worst place to build a burger bar."

He is backing residents who have sent objections to Surrey Heath Council.

Philip Bulmer of Portsmouth Road — with help from neighbours Fiona Gibbins, Linda Calvett, Sylvia and John Prentice and Barrie Wann — gathered a 200-signature petition which was handed to Surrey Heath Council earlier this month.

They are also concerned for students' safety, said Fiona Gibbins, who has a child at the school.

"There are over 2,000 pupils at this school and I'm worried they will rush across the road to get to a Burger King. It will be the easiest access for them.

"There are traffic lights but no pedestrian crossing. There are likely to be accidents and even fatalities on that junction."

Residents also fear increased traffic would be hazardous to motorists.

John Prentice, who lives in Foxhill Crescent, said: "There are individual drives that lead on to the A30 and it is dangerous if cars are coming along the road too fast or if drivers ignore traffic lights, which they do regularly."

Mr Bulmer added: "Our concerns really boil down to three main points.

"We are worried about the increase in accidents due to entry and exit of drive-through traffic, the risk of school children and other pedestrians being knocked over, and the increase in congestion at an already busy roundabout.

"There have been two very serious accidents in December alone, quite close to the roundabout.

"It is already quite a hazardous area and any alterations could be very dangerous."

Residents think the extra two lanes proposed for restaurant access, added to the present five, would cause accidents through confusion.

Mr Bulmer added: "All drive-through facilities run the risk of queues developing which could back on to the main carriageways, creating further difficulties."

He explained that the roundabout is used extensively by the fire brigade, whose station is just up the road, and is also on a main route of the police and ambulance services.

"We're not opposed to having a restaurant like a Burger King in the area if it was in a different place, but in the middle of a roundabout it would just cause no end of problems."

To comment on the proposal write to the Chief Planning Officer, Surrey Heath Borough Council, Surrey Heath House, Knoll Road, Camberley, Surrey, or e-mail development_control@surreyheath.gov.uk.