Parents and teachers call for new patrol crossing

Anne Hanney from Christ Church School with a petition requesting a school crossing patrol in Tower Road
Anne Hanney from Christ Church School with a petition requesting a school crossing patrol in Tower Road

WORRIED parents and teachers at a St Leonards primary school are demanding that the county council reinstate one of their patrol crossings after two children were in collision with a van last Friday (March 14).

Onlookers at Church Christ CE Primary School were horrified when two pupils aged eight and 10, who escaped with cuts and bruises, were injured while walking to school at a junction that used to have a lollipop lady.

Stationed at the junction between Tower Road and St Peter’s Road, the previous lollipop lady passed away 15 months ago, and the post which cost £4,000 a year, has not been filled.

Anne Hanney, headteacher of Christ Church told the Observer: “It was ghastly. We were so anxious and worried about the children. And of course we didn’t want an accident to happen to prove a point but heavens forbid if the car was going faster. In January members of both the school leadership team and governing body met with a East Sussex County Council representative, and stated that we felt the crossing was dangerous and that the patrol should be reinstated. We were told that the Tower Road crossing did not meet the necessary criteria. However, this accident shows that a crossing patrol at this spot is vital in order to help keep children safe.”

The criteria looks at the number of children crossing, the direction they travel from, the speed of the traffic, the number of traffic at peak time, the condition of the road and lines of sight.

Pete Fairless, whose two children attend Christ Church and who is the chairman of governors, said: “It’s quite an unpredictable road. If there’s an accident or traffic jam on London Road or Bohemia Road then Tower Road is used as a diversion. And there are so many parked cars making difficult to see.”

A spokeswoman from East Sussex County Council told the Observer that although the crossing is currently under review,funding for the it has not been cut.

She said: “We are naturally concerned when an child is involved in an accident. We urge parents and children to be aware of road users and cross roads carefully and safely. The savings we’re having to make mean it is not feasible to continue to fund all crossing patrols which do not meet nationally accepted criteria.”