Cromer head teacher condemns “crazy” move to axe school crossing patrol

Cromer Junior School campaign to save their lollipop ladies. Carrie Gilbey, left, and Karen Wright w

Cromer Junior School campaign to save their lollipop ladies. Carrie Gilbey, left, and Karen Wright with parents and pupils.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A head teacher has claimed plans to axe a crossing patrol at his school could put pupils' lives at risk.

Cromer Junior School campaign to save their lollipop ladies.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer Junior School campaign to save their lollipop ladies.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Dozens of concerned parents are backing a campaign to retain the two lollipop ladies at Cromer Junior School.

The crossing patrol is one of 38 earmarked for closure across the county because they do not meet national criteria.

The plan would see their funding end on April 1 next year, helping cut a budget overspend.

Norfolk County Council's Children's Services committee has recommended the launch of a consultation process on the patrols.

Cromer Junior School campaign to save their lollipop ladies. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer Junior School campaign to save their lollipop ladies. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant


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Cromer Junior School stands next to the A149 which campaigners claim has some of the heaviest traffic in the county.

Head teacher Whil de Neve branded the possible removal of the crossing patrol as 'crazy.'

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Mr de Neve said: 'I think the loss of the lollipop ladies will make crossing the road unsafe.

'If the crossing patrols are removed I would need to find the money from the school budget to keep them in place.

'It is a really busy road with lots of heavy goods vehicles where drivers routinely ignore the speed limits.

'This seems crazy – don't put children's lives at risk to save a few quid. I am genuinely dumbfounded.'

Mr de Neve added that many pupils from the nearby Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School also used the crossing. Cromer Mayor Tim Adams has started a campaign on social media to save the crossing patrols and is urging residents to voice their opposition.

Mr Adams said: 'Only 11 junior schools have more passing traffic than Cromer Junior School. If a fatality on the roads results in legal costs that would be a false economy – it does not make moral or financial sense.

'This is a fundamental service, I cannot state how important it is, the idea of cutting it is ridiculous.'

He added: 'This road has been the scene of a few accidents over the years and the pedestrian refuge barriers have been damaged in the last two months. The chicanes were introduced after a car went through the school fence.'

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: 'There is national guidance produced by Road Safety GB about running road crossing patrols.

'We use the guidance to decide how often we monitor our road crossing patrols and the criteria we take into account when calculating if a site meets the threshold for having a patrol.'

To view the consultation visit

www.norfolk.citizenspace.com/consultation/roadcrossingpatrols/

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