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Lollipop patrols in Dudley under review

By Clare Butler | Dudley | News | Published:

Lollipop patrols are at risk, while 20mph zones should be brought in outside all schools in Dudley, a safety review has found.

The future of school crossing patrols is uncertain

Controversial plans to axe funding for school crossing patrols were ditched in a U-turn at the start of this year.

But a new council study has revealed that 70 per cent of the patrol sites do not currently meet national criteria.

Meanwhile, chiefs have been urged to make ‘advisory’ 20mph zones outside all school entrances ‘a high priority’ for the next decade as part of a package of safety measures.

A council report says: “It is recommended that the council’s 10-year plan to implement advisory 20mph zones outside all school entrances, under the safer routes to school scheme, should be made a high priority.”

The same study, carried out ahead of a place scrutiny committee meeting, reveals that 55 out of 79 school crossing patrol sites in the borough are not hitting national guidelines – giving council bosses a case to remove them.

The report says: “The national criteria for school crossing patrols (SCP) is widely accepted and does enable councils to provide substantial satisfactory evidence and justification to remove a SCP where the site does not meet the criteria, without putting children at risk.”

Less than a quarter of primary school children who responded had a crossing patrol nearby, although 85 per cent said it helped them to cross the road safely, according to the study.

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Under half of parents with a school crossing close by said it helped provide a safe route for their child, while only 35 per cent said they relied on the patrols to provide a safe crossing for their child on the way to school.

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental services, said: “We know how important school crossing patrols are to some people.

“We want to see the school crossing patrol service continue to encourage children and families to walk to school rather than jump in the car.

“The outcomes of the studies we have carried out will be considered by a scrutiny working group in order to identify what options we have for continuing to provide a service into the future.”

Clare Butler

By Clare Butler
Senior Reporter - @CButler_Star

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