Dad’s lollipop plea over crossing fears

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A worried father fears youngsters could be killed or injured after a crossing patrol was removed from his son’s school.

The final ‘lollipop lady’ outside St Swithuns School was moved to a ‘higher risk’ school earlier this term.

Previously the school had a team of three crossing patrollers.

Marc Webber says parents are now doing their best to slow down the traffic on High Street.

“They decided to reassign the old patrol lady to another school outside Sandy without warning last month, saying that school had a ‘higher priority’ to the safety of children at St Swithun’s,” he said.

“Since then, parents have had to act as defacto crossing staff, risking their safety to stop traffic doing 30mph with no illuminous clothing.”

Mr Webber contacted Central Bedfordshire Council after the move, and says he was told that no-one wants to be a lollipop lady any more and that the council was struggling to recruit.

He was told St Swithun’s crossing patrol had been moved to a school outside the area which was considered higher risk and where parents were not escorting their children home.

“St Swithuns parents are now stepping out or shoving pushchairs into the road to stop cars so they can cross,” he said.

“Some cars won’t stop when you stand on the road to stop them. I think it’s an incredibly dangerous position.”

Mr Webber said parents who had started to give their youngsters the chance to walk home on their own to encourage their independence were now going back to picking them up from school.

“A crossing patrol in a hi- vis jacket really does calm down traffc,” he said. “We have noticed an increase in speed in the area.”

Mr Webber said after he had complained to CBC he put a plea out on social media and he was aware people had now applied for the job.

A spokesman for CBC said they were now hopeful they had the right candidate and were now carrying out background checks.

He said: “What looks to be the successful candidate came forward after seeing one of the adverts which local shops and other businesses agreed to put up for us.

“We also did a big push via social media which generated plenty of interest.”

They are also looking for a school crossing warden in Flitwick outside the Blackbirds, in High Street.