Parents plea for new lollipop lady to prevent tragedy

Newspaper: Reporter Series.'Story: Parents of pupils who attend Windmill CoE primary school are concerned that there will be no safe place to cross the road oputside the school when their lollipop lady retires.'Photo Date: 09/06/15'Picture Ref: AB069a0615
Newspaper: Reporter Series.'Story: Parents of pupils who attend Windmill CoE primary school are concerned that there will be no safe place to cross the road oputside the school when their lollipop lady retires.'Photo Date: 09/06/15'Picture Ref: AB069a0615

Anxious parents believe a child could be injured if safety measures are not put in place to help pupils cross a road outside a school.

The lollipop lady who assists the pupils outside Windmill Church of England Primary School in Upper Batley Lane, Batley, retires this July – but Kirklees Council is not replacing her.

Parents of pupils who attend Windmill CoE primary school are concerned that there will be no safe place to cross the road oputside the school when their lollipop lady retires. Photo Date: 09/06/15 Picture Ref: AB069a0615

Parents of pupils who attend Windmill CoE primary school are concerned that there will be no safe place to cross the road oputside the school when their lollipop lady retires. Photo Date: 09/06/15 Picture Ref: AB069a0615

Mum Laura Harrison thinks this means that from September there will be no safe place for the children to cross the road. Parents have said it is hampered by traffic and speeding cars.

Laura, 37, of Birchwood Avenue, is concerned for her children Finlay, eight, and Matilda, 10. She said: “I can absolutely guarantee that there will be an accident involving a child if something is not done and then it would be too late, I have seen so many near misses already.

“I know that money’s tight, but it’s a primary school with no crossing whatsoever. Until a child has got injured or killed they’re not going to put their hands in their pockets.”

Victoria Tomlinson’s son Thomas, six, also attends Windmill, said: “It’s everything – speeding, double parking, road rage.

“It’s right next to a high school, which doesn’t help. It’s coaches, buses. There’s been times that ambulances could not get through.”

Headteacher Tim Scargill said: “I am as concerned about this matter as the parents. Myself and the governing body have already contacted the local authority about the removal of a crossing patrol on Upper Batley Lane and we are awaiting their response.”

Following a previous campaign by parents to make the connecting Windmill Lane safer in September 2013, Kirklees Council carried out “a very small amount of work” to the kerb area of the primary school exit onto Windmill Lane, according to Laura.

She added: “The council have spent goodness knows how much money jazzing up the triangular patch of grass at the end of Windmill Lane that meets Upper Batley Lane, which has actually achieved nothing in terms of helping people cross the road.

“The path is too close to the junction which makes it very unsafe to cross because you cannot see if vehicles are going to come around the corner. The general feeling seems to be that it was a total waste of money.”

A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “It was agreed at the full council meeting in February 2015 that there would be no budget available for school crossing patrols after April 2016.

“This does not mean that the crossing patrols will cease at that time.

“It means that the council will continue to work with the police and other partners to develop a new community safety function within Kirklees.

“We will be looking into the options for recruiting to vacant positions, including the one at Windmill C of E Primary, as part of our discussions – but a final decision has not been made at this time.”