Parents celebrate school crossing patrol victory

Victory for campaigners demanding return of a lollipop person
Victory for campaigners demanding return of a lollipop person

Parents are celebrating the appointment of a new crossing patrol outside their children’s school - just days after being told there were not enough staff to cover it.

More than 300 people signed a petition after the previous lollipop lady at Bryn St Peter’s CE Primary School retired.

As reported in Wednesday’s Wigan Post, they feared for their children’s safety on busy Downall Green Road and said there had already been “two very near misses” since the post became vacant on November 15.

Wigan Council said it did not have enough patrol staff to cover every school and crossings were graded on priority based on risk factors.

It is understood the crossing at Bryn St Peter’s has a C rating, with A and B crossings being essential to cover and C and D staffed when possible.

But now a council spokesman has confirmed that someone has been appointed to the crossing and will begin work on Monday.

Yesterday he said: “A new school crossing patrol will undergo training today and tomorrow before starting at Downall Green Road on Monday.

“We also plan to be in conversation with the school about road safety lessons and school travel plans. We want to explore how we can work in partnership to ensure key road safety and sustainable travel messages are delivered to children at the school.

“The council was always looking to fill vacancies, we have had a recent recruitment drive and a number of people were having final checks for positions.

“We are still looking to recruit more and we will be advertising in due course.”

The appointment has been welcomed by parents, who were concerned a child could be injured in the absence of a school crossing patrol.

The mother of an eight-year-old pupil, who asked not to be named, said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant and it is for the best interests of the children.”

She thanked fellow parents, councillors and the Wigan Post for highlighting the issue.

Coun Steve Jones, who set up the petition, said he had a “massive response”.

He said: “I want to thank everyone for supporting the petition and reinstating the crossing patrol. We are going to make sure there are measures in place, maybe a zebra crossing or making sure we have more staff trained who can step in at short notice.”