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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Child safety fears at A69 crossing over unfilled lollipop post

Safety concerns have been raised for children forced to cross one of Cumbria’s major roads to get to school.

Doreen Parsons photo
Doreen Parsons

Youngsters are having to dodge traffic going along the A69 unsupervised because a new lollipop person cannot be found.

Demands are now being made for action to get someone recruited quickly to supervise pupils on their walk to Warwick Bridge Primary School, near Carlisle.

The last permanent lollipop man left the post in December. Temporary cover ended last term.

Children returning for lessons this week therefore had to make their way across the road on their own.

An increasing number of parents are driving their children to school because they’re worried about them crossing the road unsupervised.

The A69 connects Carlisle and Newcastle and is used by 12,000 trucks each week.

Doreen Parsons, who represents Great Corby and Geltsdale on Carlisle City Council, said: “The road is extremely dangerous.

“It is extremely difficult to get across at night.

“When you are on the school side of the road you can’t see what’s coming because of a corner.”

Mrs Parsons believes the lack of a lollipop man is already having a knock-on effect.

“I have seen a lot more cars going towards the school,” she says.

“Parents have opted for their children to go to school by car rather than walk.

“It really is a dangerous road to cross and what price a child’s life?”

Lollipop men and women also used to turn on a set of warning lights near the school.

“They are not putting them on now,” said Mrs Parsons.

She urged anyone driving through the village when children are going to and from school to be careful.

She also called on Orian Solutions, the company responsible for lollipop men and woman in Cumbria, to fill the vacancy soon.

A spokeswoman for Orian said: “The safety and well-being of children and road users is always our top priority. When a position of school crossing patrol officer becomes vacant, we move quickly to recruit a replacement wherever possible.

“Since the previous school crosser left at the end of December, we have provided temporary cover but unfortunately this arrangement recently came to an end – however we continue to actively seek a new permanent employee for this role.”

She said the company had advertised, since last November, but had no response.

“We absolutely appreciate the strong feelings surrounding this matter and want to reassure the local community that we are doing all we can to recruit a crossing patrol officer,” the spokeswoman added.

Anyone interested in applying for the job should call 08454 707010.

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