Row over lollipop crossing

Coun Paul Tushingham and Karin Dagnall attempt to cross the busy junction in Ashton
Coun Paul Tushingham and Karin Dagnall attempt to cross the busy junction in Ashton

A SHORTAGE of crossing patrols has put children at risk, it has been claimed.

The patrol at the A58/A49 Liverpool Road/Warrington Road junction, managed by MetroFresh on behalf of Wigan Council, is used by pupils from schools in the area, but is regulated by St Edmund Arrowsmith RC High School’s term times.

But on Friday, October 21, the school was closed, while others – St Oswald’s, RL Hughes, and Byrchall – were open and there was no-one to help pupils cross.

Karin Dagnall, 42, of Winchester Avenue, Ashton, was one parent who struggled to cross the road. She walks her two daughters, aged five and 10, to St Thomas CE Primary School, in Hodnet Drive, and relies on the crossing patrol.

She said: “I have to walk through that crossing everyday, but on the Friday before October half term, St Edmund Arrowsmith was closed and there was no crossing patrol.

“This happens every time St Edmund Arrowsmith is closed and the council seems to forget this issue. Children who go to RL Hughes and St Thomas’ need to get across that busy road and it is difficult for them to do it.”

Karin has enlisted the help of ward councillor Paul Tushingham to make the council aware of the situation.

He said: “The junction of Warrington Road/Bryn Street/Liverpool Road/Gerard Street is always extremely hazardous and dangerous to negotiate even with assistance from a crossing control person at school times. The situation where there was no crossing control provision is unacceptable.”

Debbie Clarke, MetroFresh service manager, said: “We are aware of this issue and appreciate the concerns that have been raised. The difficulty has arisen from the fact that there are issues with providing a service to schools in the same area who have different holidays. On this particular occasion the problems were compounded by the fact that we were also suffering from staff shortages. However we are taking a number of steps to address the issue including recruiting more crossing patrols to cover these crossings.”

To become a School Crossing Patrollor contact MetroFresh on 01942 705080.