St Helens Council reveals plan to scrap school crossing patrols

St Helens Council plans to scrap its lollipop school crossing service
St Helens Council plans to scrap its lollipop school crossing service

School lollipop crossing patrols in St Helens could be scrapped under the latest series cost-cutting measures announced by the town hall.

Council chiefs say they could save £130,000 per year by shelving the service.

Parents will be outraged by the proposals, which come as the cash-strapped local authority attempts to find savings of £20.3m from its budget by 2020.

But many will undoubtedly view school crossings - which council chiefs say they have no legal duty to provide - as an essential service vital for keeping their children safe.

St Helens Council currently operates a school crossing patrol at 39 designated sites across the borough.

They are proposing to stop providing the service and transfer responsibility to schools.

Alternatively, they could stop the service at low risk sites or those with traffic calming measures in place.

A public consultation exercise have been launched today (Monday), with members of the encouraged to have their say on the council’s plans.

A council spokesman said: “Some school crossing patrols in the borough are located at low risk sites where traffic calming measures, such as Zebra and Pelican crossing points, are in place – or where pedestrian and traffic flow is low.

“With this in mind, the council has opened a public consultation with a view of ceasing the traditional offer by transferring the responsibility of school crossing patrol delivery to schools – or by disestablishing low risk sites or remove those with safety engineering measures already in place.

“Should the consultation identify a suitable alternative to the current provision, the savings forecast to be achieved over the year would be £130,000.

“While there is no statutory duty for the council to provide this function, the council remains committed to working with schools, parents and carers to protect safety and promote road safety.”

The consultation closes on Sunday, September 3.

Residents can take part by visiting {|www.sthelens.gov.uk/council/public-consultation/|the council’s website|}.

Alternatively, you can pick up a hard copy of the survey from:

* Both reception areas in St Helens Town Hall

* The Contact Centre in Wesley House

* Any library in St Helens (except Central Library, currently closed for repair works).