Fears allayed over lollipop patrol cuts

Coun Michael McLoughlin and Joanne Parkinson outside Mab's Cross Community Primary School
Coun Michael McLoughlin and Joanne Parkinson outside Mab's Cross Community Primary School
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FEARS that lollipop crossing staff face the axe in a fresh round of savings cuts are being denied.

A worried parent contacted the Wigan Evening Post after he heard claims among mums and dads at the classroom gates that crossing attendents outside schools are being phased out as part of the latest round of belt tightening by the town hall.

He currently collects children from outside Mab’s Cross and Bryn Gates primary schools and was left “increasingly anxious” at the thought of wholesale changes based simply on budgetry restraints.

However council assistant director for infrastructure Mark Tilley said that no such policy was in place.

However crossing attendants were sometimes redeployed to fill in for sickness or absence.

He said: “We have not removed all crossing patrols from points where there is a zebra crossing. We do occasionally move crossing patrols temporarily to fulfil the need from patrols at key points across the borough.

He pointed out that all of the crossing points outside schools across the borough are now graded A to D based on the number of pedestrians crossing and vehicles passing the point...with grade A the highest.

And the town hall policy states that it will ALWAYS staff crossing points that have graded A to B, with Grade C and D being controlled by crossing patrol “when staff levels allow.”

He revealed: “If a member of staff is unavailable and they are the patrol on Grade A or B crossing then this role will be covered, which is provided by moving patrols from either a grade C or D crossing.”

Joanne Parkinson, whose six-year-old son Leighton attends Mab’s Cross Primary in Standishgate, said it was “disgusting” that its lollipop person had been redeployed because there is a zebra crossing outside and so the need for a patrol was deemed greater elsewhere.