Safety fears at Wigan school crossing as parents call for new patrol to be appointed

Worried parents are calling for the crossing patrol to be reinstated outside their children’s school amid fears someone could be hurt.

By Gaynor Clarke
Wednesday, 27th November 2019, 8:40 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:25 am

The lollipop lady at Bryn St Peter’s CE Primary School retired on November 15 and has not been replaced.

Other news: Missing Wigan pensioner is foundWigan Council says it does not have enough staff for every school - but parents are urging them to put someone on the crossing as soon as possible.

They have even discussed doing the role themselves, but fear they would not be insured.

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One mother, whose eight-year-old son attends the school, described Downall Green Road as “one of the busiest roads in Ashton”.

She said: “A child is going to get hurt. Somebody is going to get run over on that road, there is no doubt about it.

“There have been two very near misses already this week while we haven’t had a lollipop lady there.”

She pointed out that another school on the same road has a crossing patrol, while there are two on a pedestrian crossing elsewhere.

The mum, who asked not to be named, said: “If it was a quiet road it wouldn’t be as bad, but Downall Green Road is a main road. People fly up and down it.”

More than 100 people signed a petition set up by Coun Steve Jones after he was “inundated” with messages.

He wants the council to put someone on the crossing, as well as have contingency plans for if patrol staff are absent.

He suggested this could be agency staff or even a council worker in another role who could be trained to do this.

Coun Jones said: “I want somebody putting in place immediately and then a continuance plan so when any school, not just Bryn St Peter’s, loses their lollipop person, then someone can be put in place the very next day.”

Wigan Today attempted to contact headteacher Julie Alcock but was not successful.

However, in a newsletter to parents she said: “I am very disappointed about this, as I’m sure many of you are. Downall Green Road is very busy at the beginning and end of the school day in particular.”

School crossing points are graded, with A and B crossings being essential to cover and C and D staffed when possible. It is understood the crossing outside Bryn St Peter’s has a C grade.

Mark Tilley, assistant director for infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “We are aware that there is no school crossing patrol outside Bryn St Peter’s CE Primary School due to a retirement.

“Wigan Council is looking to recruit for vacancies in the borough and has already conducted two recruitment drives this year and is in the process of appointing more school crossing patrols.

“There is not enough patrol staff to cover every school, we have to have a priority risk rating for each school. These ratings are based on a number of risk factors - for example, speed, visibility, the number of unaccompanied children going to school and the number of parked cars nearby.

“We will be working in partnership with the school in the recruitment process and we encourage people in the local community to come forward and apply.

“In the meantime our road safety team will be offering road safety education lessons and as always, we ask drivers, parents, carers and school children to be mindful and extra vigilant when driving and walking in the vicinity of schools.”