School children want safe passage across road
AN infants school in St Neots has launched a campaign to find someone to help children cross the road safely after being without a lollipop person for two years. Parents and children are said to be risking danger by having to cross busy Huntingdon Street
AN infants' school in St Neots has launched a campaign to find someone to help children cross the road safely after being without a lollipop person for two years.
Parents and children are said to be risking danger by having to cross busy Huntingdon Street to enter Priory Park Infant School in Almond Road.
The crossing patrol role is now being offered as a "job share", potentially allowing two people to help the children - one in the morning and another in the afternoon.
Each shift lasts half an hour, from 8.30am to 9am or from 3pm to 3.30pm.
New acting headteacher Tim Rogers is making one more call to find a crossing patrol officer.
Mr Rogers, who joined the school as deputy head in January and has been acting head since Easter, says the school is in a dangerous road with a combination of hazards caused by cars parking or queuing to go into a nearby sorting office and other vehicles "zooming" past.
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Mr Rogers told The Hunts Post: "The week before last one car went into the back of another pushing it onto the pavement and a mum told me that if she had been a few seconds behind where she was, the car would have gone straight into her and her children.
"Another mum came and told me that she had been crossing the road when a car went by without slowing down and started shouting abuse at her, in front of a very young child.
"The problem is that the place where parents and children cross is very near the sorting office where both cars park and people cross.
"Particularly small children are not as visible as they could be.
"There is a pelican crossing but that is further up the road, so people would have to go out of their way and then back again. It was put there for the Eat 'n' Bowl not for the school.
"Parents tell me it has been at least two years since we had a crossing patrol officer and that is what we need. I went down to have a look at the road and the cars are just zooming by and they don't slow down near the school."
The school has also applied to Cambridgeshire County Council for yellow lines to be painted on the road to stop parking.
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said the yellow lines had been included in the council's projects for the next financial year.
He said: "We are among the top in the country for recruiting crossing patrol officers. Children's safety is very important and we understand the parents' and the school's concern. We hope someone can be recruited in the near future."
Andrew Swallow, team leader of the Safer Routes to School project at the county council said: "The job is there, if someone comes forward we will appoint them but everybody thinks someone else should do the job not them. We are prepared to offer a job share so one mum can do it in the morning and the other in the afternoon and look after each other's children but still there have been no takers."
INFORMATION: A school crossing patrol officer would work one hour a day in term-time in two half-hour slots, from 8.30am to 9am and 3pm to 3.30pm. The pay is £6.58 an hour. Anyone interested in the post should contact Cambridgeshire County Council on 01480 375105.