Petition for lollipop person at St Albans primary school

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 July 2010

Daniel Chisholm aged 5, wearing cap Benjamin Davis aged 5 and brother Joshy aged 3.

Daniel Chisholm aged 5, wearing cap Benjamin Davis aged 5 and brother Joshy aged 3.

Archant

PARENTS have petitioned the county council in a bid to get a "lollipop person" to help children safely cross a busy road outside a St Albans primary school.

After several years without a lollipop person, determined parents of children at Oakwood primary school have sent a petition to Herts county council pleading for “a crossing patrol supervisor as a matter of urgency.”

About 90 signatures were collected on the paper petition, while an internet version on “PetitionBuzz” has netted 300.

In response, the council has thrown its support behind the call for help with a spokeswoman confirming there would be a pamphlet drop in the neighbourhood of the school advertising the part-time role.

The petition states that around the start and end of the school day Oakwood Drive is “dangerously busy.” Beaumont School is also located near the primary school on the busy stretch of road.

Ironically, according to the petition, one of the “safest” places to cross to the school is on a hard corner. But, with so many cars parked there it can be difficult to see oncoming traffic, particularly as some drivers rush around the bend to avoid getting stuck in the relatively narrow street.

A petition organiser and local parent Lisa Chisholm said the petition showed the county council the “strength of feeling” within the school community about the issue.

She said: “As an adult crossing it’s very difficult to see around parked cars; there are lots of cars parked on the zigzag lines, people don’t indicate, people are rushing, kids are going fast on bikes and scooters, there are potholes at that crossing point which are tripping people – we really do need somebody to help them cross.”

Headteacher of Oakwood Primary Ms Zoe Buckley said a crossing patrol supervisor would be welcomed as part of the school community. About 300 pupils attend the school.

She added: “The safety of the children is of paramount importance and I would love to have a lollipop person. I think it would increase the children’s safety and independence.”

The council spokeswoman said it had been difficult recruiting someone for the part-time job. A lollipop person was needed for two 45-minute stretches patrolling the crossing, from about 8.30am till 9.15 am and 3pm until 3.45pm during school term. The job pays £6.60 an hour and anyone interested in applying can phone the council on 0300 123 4047.

She said: “We are happy for people to do this on a rota basis. If you are a part of that community it’s a great way to get involved.”

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