Parents’ traffic fears

PARENTS fear for their children’s safety after losing their school lollipop lady who had served for 24 years.

Elaine Moore left her school crossing patrol job at Birkenshaw Middle School after Kirklees Council cut her pay following a contract change. The post is now vacant.

Now parents are worried a child may be knocked down as there is no crossing outside the school and nobody to see their children across.

Mrs Moore was paid extra for turning on a warning light at the crossing, but after an automatic switch was installed Kirklees Council wrote to her saying that from September 5 her wage would be reduced.

She said: “My pay has been cut by £23 to £39 a week. I worked every day in all weathers, and the abuse you get from motorists is awful. I have even been hit by cars.

“It was worth it for the kids but now the pay has been cut I have to think about myself as well. It was not an easy choice to make. I would have taken a pay cut to £50 but my wage has gone down by almost half.” Janet Mowbray, whose 11-year-old son goes to the school, said parents had put together a petition calling for Mrs Moore to be reinstated on £50 a week or for a crossing to be installed.

She said: “Nobody will take on that job for £39 a week. Everyone is sad to see Elaine go – and we need somebody there. There is nothing from the top of Birkenshaw, to Gomersal.”

The petition can be signed outside the school in Bradford Road after school.

A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “We did assess this site to see if we could extend the hours, but this was not possible as the numbers using the crossing outside of the five and a half hours were minimal.

“Crossing patrols are paid a consistent hourly rate across the district and this cannot be changed to suit one particular site.”