Campaign group blasts “dangerous” plan to axe school crossings

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A borough campaign group has slammed a decision proposing to axe the borough’s school crossing patrols.

St Helens Council announced yesterday (Monday) all of the borough’s remaining lollipop patrols could be scrapped.

Campaigners say axing Rainford’s lollipop lady “beggars belief” when the council wants to see at least 1,140 houses built in Rainford.

That, they say, would see more than 2,000 extra cars using the village’s roads.

James Wright, chair of Rainford Action Group, said: “The school crossing patrol in Rainford is a vital service that protects our precious children. Getting rid of that service at any time would be bad enough but to get rid of it while at the same time ploughing ahead with plans to put another 2,000 cars on Rainford’s roads beggars belief.”

Under the plans, responsibility could be transferred to schools.

The group is particularly concerned about the fate of Rainford CE Primary School, which is located on Cross Pit Lane, one of the borough’s busiest roads.

Mr Wright said: “St Helens Council is putting the safety of our children at risk. Everyone understands the need to make savings but what price can be put on a child’s life?

“While cutting an important safeguard, the council is plotting to make our roads even more dangerous. This shows just how out of touch and money-driven the council is.”

Mr Wright added: “Are people in Rainford getting value for money for their council tax when the village contributes £5.6m a year to St Helens Council but the council won’t even pay for a school crossing patrol to protect our children?

“Why should schools pay for crossing patrols when all their funding should be spent on our children’s education?

“The council must reconsider its school crossing patrol plans and its unnecessary, unreasonable and unworkable plan to grow our rural village by a third.”