HUNDREDS of concerned residents are calling for action to stem the rising tide of coaches taking pupils to Halesowen College from "thundering" down the roads on their estate - before someone is hurt.

A petition has gathered more than 500 names of people calling for something to be done about the huge number of coaches using small roads on the Haden Coppice Estate to get to Whittingham Road, where the college, which has more than 4,500 pupils, is based.

They say more than 30 coaches use small roads such as Fairmile Road every day. They are also concerned at the number of coaches mixing with school traffic from Newfield Primary, which is also on Whittingham Road.

The petition is being sent to the college, police, Dudley Council and Prospect Coaches - which runs the service - by councillor Simon Phipps - who is backing residents.

Cllr Phipps said: "I was in Fairmile Road at 3pm and 10 coaches came past within three minutes of each other.

"We need a safer solution than full-sized coaches using the smaller roads. These roads were never intended to take such large vehicles.

"Over the last two years the problem has intensified due to rising student numbers.

"There's a real issue with coaches using the local infrastructure.

"Something needs to be done."

Sheila Saunders, of Fairmile Road, who spearheaded the petition, said: "On the morning around 15 coaches thunder up our road.

"I saw a coach go up the kerb and I thought if a child had been there they would have been hit - I thought something has got to be done.

"There will be an accident soon and someone will have blood on their hands - it's an accident waiting to happen."

The 71-year-old grandmother said around 15 coaches go past her house in the morning, seven at noon, seven at 3pm and around five at 4.30pm - bringing the total every day to more than 30.

Halesowen College said in a statement: “We encourage students to use the coach service as part of our Green Travel Plan. This is environmentally positive, significantly reduces the number of vehicles in the locality and eases traffic congestion.

"As a community-focused college, we have excellent links with local groups. We regularly meet with residents at the Whittingham Road Action Group. At our meeting last week, we discussed recent concerns with coaches parking in the area and routes of travel to the Whittingham Campus.

"We continue to work with Prospects, our transport provider, on a day-to-day basis to address specific issues raised.

"In the longer term, we aim to further develop more sustainable plans for coach parking and access to the Whittingham Campus.

"Several options are currently being considered and, we will continue to regularly update residents as we make progress."

Nathan Hadley, general manager of Prospect Coaches, said: "We provide student transport under contract to Halesowen College as part of the college Green Travel Plan.

"Coach travel is significantly kinder to the environment than multiple car journeys and each coach can remove the need for up to 70 cars, should each passenger travel independently.

"Prospect Coaches work in conjunction with Halesowen College and constantly monitor the service to ensure only the necessary number of vehicles are supplied. Keeping the coach traffic in the local vicinity to a minimum.

"Prospect Coaches Managing Director attends the Whittingham Road Action Group meetings held at the Whittingham Road campus, where recent concerns raised have resulted in an operational change. The time vehicles leave our depot and the order in which our vehicles arrive to service the contract have been altered.

"All changes will be monitored to ascertain the results and tweaks will be made where necessary.

"In consultation with the local groups including the local police team our coaches were previously rerouted to our current access arrangements as per local bus routes and we will continue to work with all agencies.

"Looking forward we are also advising Halesowen College on several options that are under consideration to provide sustainable coach parking and access."