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Parents' anger after lollipop man is axed at Eastleigh school crossing
FURIOUS parents are demanding action after a lollipop man was axed from their children’s school.
Pupils as young as four-yearsold will have to cross the busy road alone when they returned to class this week.
But Hampshire County Council will not replace the lollipop man who has been stopping cars and lorries outside the school for five years.
Parents were sent a letter this week telling them that the decision was taken after a council worker monitored the road for one hour in November but they say this is not long enough.
The school is currently expanding by 30 per cent, and parents say that with more children in classes there is an increased need for a crossing patrol and losing the service would mean putting children’s lives at risk.
The Crescent Primary School currently teaches 400 four to 11- year-olds but over the next few years it will grow from two classes in each year group to three.
The school shares the road with the Hovis factory and Jewson builders merchants and their lorries travel to and fro all day and emergency vehicles from the police station also regularly use the road.
Frances Jacobs, 30, a mum-offour from Toynbee Road said: “If it comes to it, the morning they go back I’ll stand out here myself in a high visibility jacket and help the children cross.
“I’m extremely angry and disappointed. I feel that the council have made the decision mainly on the size of their budget. They’re putting children at risk.
“I can’t see how they can make that decision based on watching the road for just one hour in the morning.
“Living on this road I just know how bad it is. Some of the lorries come flying down here and it’s too fast for a small road with a school, and it’s not just the lorries.”
H a m p s h i r e County Council Eastleigh councillor Andy Moore, said: “The only people who will suffer are the children, so we have got to get it back as soon as possible.
“The county council is responsible for that and the leader of the council said there would be no frontline service cuts. I’m appalled because I would call that a frontline service.
“I’m annoyed, but I will do everything I can to make a case to save the lollipop man and protect that service.”
The council say that they came to the decision after surveying the road during rush hour, but the level of traffic did not meet national guidelines for when crossing patrol is needed.
Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: “A decision was made not to recruit when the incumbent crossing patrol retired, after a detailed and careful review of this site.
“This showed that it fell far short of the national criteria used to ensure crossing patrols are placed where they are needed most, so we were unable to recruit.”
Head teacher Ben Dixon, said: “While I am disappointed that the local council will not be replacing Mr Brown, I will be working with the local authority to ensure that children continue to travel to school safely. The pupils’ safety coming to and from school is of paramount importance to us.”
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