Anger as children at Hayling Island schools are left without lollipop lady

Elm Grove, with Mengham Infant School on the right. Picture: Peter Griffiths
Elm Grove, with Mengham Infant School on the right. Picture: Peter Griffiths
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THE LACK of a crossing patrol close to two schools is ‘an accident waiting to happen,’ a campaigner has said.

The lollipop lady who usually patrols Hayling Island’s Elm Grove, opposite the library for Mengham infant and junior schools, is on long-term sick leave.

Peter Griffiths, from the Hayling Island Residents Association, said he fears a child will be killed or seriously injured unless a replacement is arranged by Hampshire County Council.

Mr Griffiths worked for the police for more than 30 years, and said: ‘The problem is there are far too many vehicles that simply don’t stop when children and parents are waiting to cross, and the situation is an accident waiting to happen.

‘I’ve dealt with many child deaths in my time with the police, and I don’t wish to witness another killed.

‘I’m extremely concerned there is a real safeguarding issue here that the council appears to be disregarding.

‘The lollipop lady has been gone for at least six weeks.

‘If something is not done a child is going to be killed or seriously injured.’

Mr Griffiths is a governor for Mengham Infant School.

His short-term goal is to have the lollipop lady replaced, and long-term to get the council to install a pelican crossing on the road.

He added: ‘This would benefit the whole community, including library users.’

Councillor Rob Humby, executive member for environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, said there is no one to replace the lollipop lady.

But he pointed out there are permanent crossing points for parents outside the library, and a zebra crossing 125-metres north of it.

He said the site is not suitable for a pelican crossing as it is close to two junctions.

Cllr Humby added: ‘We contacted the schools so they could inform parents they would need to make alternative arrangements for taking their children to school, which they did promptly.

‘Our road safety team offers a range of education programmes to schools to help children and young people use roads safely every day.

‘I will make sure our team gets in touch again to make sure the schools are aware of all the free education programmes available.’