Parents call for lollipop’s return

Concerned  parents
Concerned parents

ANGRY parents have called for the return of their popular lollipop lady after she was moved to another spot to leave their school without cover.

Mums and dads of children who attend Rift House Primary School, in Hartlepool, say they are worried for their children’s safety.

The school’s lollipop lady was relocated by council bosses on Monday and her post at the junction of Masefield Road and Kipling Road has been empty since.

She has been moved to provide cover at the junction of Park Road and Eldon Grove while that area’s crossing patrol is absent.

Parent Lorna Spink, whose two children go to Rift House Primary, says although the road has a 20mph speed limit, drivers regularly break it.

Hartlepool Borough Council, which employs school crossing patrollers, says the move is only temporary but it could be another week before the service is returned to the school.

The council says the service has been hit by a shortage of people who can cover at short notice.

Lorna, 40, mum to Harriet, nine, and Zoe, 10, said: “We can’t do without a lollipop there.

“The children all knew her.

“With her not there, they just go straight across the road. We’ve had a couple of near misses.

“A lot of people come flying down the road.

“Everybody’s got to be there now to get them across the road.”

Lorna’s partner, Harry Lancaster, of the Oxford Road area, added: “We can trust the lollipop lady.

“We know that the bairns are safe in her care.

“She wouldn’t let them leave until the parents arrived.”

A council spokesman said: “This temporary arrangement began on Monday and is expected to continue for at least another week.

“As well as experiencing problems with staff absence, the school crossing patrol service has also been affected by an on-going shortage of casual employees who are able to provide cover at short notice.

“Masefield Road, near to the school, benefits from a 20mph speed limit and there are speed humps at points along the road.

“So after carefully considering our options we decided to prioritise cover at the Park Road/Eldon Grove junction where there are no such measures in place and vehicle speeds tend to be considerably higher.

“We have liaised with the school, and we hope parents will understand the reasons behind this decision.”

Anyone interested in joining the school crossing patrol service’s stand-by staff register should call (01429) 523590.