Parents will stop traffic if patrolman is not replaced

Crossing problems outside St Annes school on Harrowby Road. 512 C
Crossing problems outside St Annes school on Harrowby Road. 512 C
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PARENTS are threatening to stop traffic outside St Anne’s School so that their children can cross the road safely if a lollipop man is not appointed soon.

The last crossing patrolman quit in November, citing safety as one of the main reasons, and since then children and parents have had to negotiate Harrowby Road, in Grantham, themselves.

John Barwell, who has two children at the school, said: “I’ve been told that at the earliest it’s going to be 2013 before anything can be done. Is it going to take a child to get run over? There’s been several near misses. We just want a crossing patrol.”

John and some of the other parents have even taken to standing out in the road themselves to stop traffic.

He said: “The parents are willing to just block the road in the morning so that the kids can get here.”

But they are not the only ones - 10-year-old Ivan Szobo has gone against warnings from his teachers to help younger children across the road.

He said: “It’s very dangerous. The cars don’t stop, they just keep going. You can wait for ages before getting to school.

“It’s very dangerous so I help the little ones cross the road.”

South Kesteven District Councillors Mike Cook and Adam Stokes, who is also a county councillor, are backing the campaign to get a crossing patrolman and larger signs marking the school entrance.

Coun Cook said: “There has been a lamentable lack of progress by Lincolnshire County Council. Their motto is that every child matters.”

Headteacher Jonathan Austin is concerned for the children’s safety outside the school.

He said: “We just want the children to come to school and be safe. It’s a busy road. We’ve been without a crossing patrol for eight months, even if we just get a temporary patrol until we get something more permanent.”

A county council consultation about a School Safety Zone was rejected earlier this year by residents who risked losing parking.

Area Highways Manager Mark Heaton said they were looking for alternatives. He said: “By pooling money from Highways and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership budgets, we’re now working on a new pedestrian crossing for pupils and the wider local community that actually is available 24 hours a day, and not just the start and end of the school day. We’re also planning other measures to help improve safety on the highway in this area.

“This is currently being designed and, hopefully, we’ll be able to share this with people later this month as part of a consultation programme.”