Gran calls for council to reverse decision to scrap two lollipop men in Fareham

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GRANDMOTHER Linda Wells is calling for a lollipop patrol to be reinstated at a crossing outside her grandson’s school.

The 62-year-old said she had seen many ‘near misses’ at the crossing outside Cams Hill School, in Fareham, since its two lollipop men retired at Christmas.

Dominic Martin, 15, and Linda Wells, at the junction of Shearwater Avenue and A27 outside of Cams Hill School, Fareham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150262-203)

Dominic Martin, 15, and Linda Wells, at the junction of Shearwater Avenue and A27 outside of Cams Hill School, Fareham. Picture: Allan Hutchings (150262-203)

Her grandson, 15-year-old Dominic Martin, said that pupils often take risks on the crossing, which they did not do when the two lollipop men were there.

But Hampshire County Council, which employs school patrol crossing officers, said it had conducted a review of the crossing on Cams Hill and said lollipop men were no longer required.

Mrs Wells, of Partridge Close, Portchester, urged the council to rethink its decision before somebody gets hurt.

She said: ‘You can’t put a price on children’s lives. They will probably only take action after a child has been knocked down and that’s not good enough.

‘They should take action before a child gets knocked down.’

County councillor Roger Price, who represents Portchester, said he had been calling on the council to reverse its decision and said that it would cost £5,500 per year to man the crossing.

He said: ‘The crossing is dangerous. We had a fatality there a few years ago. I don’t agree with the council saying the lollipop men are not required.’

County council executive member for transport Seán Woodward said: ‘Following the resignation of the two school crossing patrol officers outside Cams Hill School a decision was made not to recruit after a review of the site.

‘This particular patrol only serves secondary school pupils and is located where there are already controlled crossings, therefore the posts cannot now be justified.’

He said that the council’s road safety education team had been working with the school and the school is part of the council’s StreetSense road safety programme.

Acting headteacher David Lowndes said the school had been working hard to impress upon the pupils the importance of using the crossing correctly.

He said the school had held assemblies, presentations and even sent teachers out to monitor the crossing.

Mr Lowndes said: ‘The school has expressed its concern and disappointment with this decision and has urged Hampshire County Council to reconsider owing to the volume of traffic using this road, its 40mph speed limit and the number of children crossing the road at the most busy times.’

Ward councillor Susan Bell said that Fareham Borough Council would be looking to spend money on the crossing and introduce a countdown to show the pupils how long they have to cross.