School to lose cross­ing pa­trol

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Edel Ke­nealy

Par­ents at St Colum­bkille’s Pri­mary in Ruther­glen have hit out af­ter learn­ing they would be los­ing their cross­ing pa­troller.

South La­nark­shire Coun­cil are cut­ting six pa­trollers across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang as part of their sav­ings pack­age.

Fu­ri­ous par­ents say the re­moval of school cross­ing pa­trollers out­side Ruther­glen pri­mary schools is an “ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen”.

Par­ents of chil­dren at­tend­ing St. Colum­bkille’s Pri­mary have vowed to fight South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to re­move lol­lipop men and women from five roads in Ruther­glen and a sixth in Cam­bus­lang.

Although the lo­cal au­thor­ity says it has com­pleted risk as­sess­ments at the pro­posed lo­ca­tions, par­ents say their chil­dren’s safety is be­ing put at risk.

Ni­cola Bourns said: “As a mother of four chil­dren who all at­tend this school, I am dis­gusted that this post has been re­moved.

“Any­one who has tried to cross this part of the road at ei­ther 9am or 3pm will know just how dan­ger­ous this road is. The traf­fic here is com­ing down Parkhill Drive, cross­ing over from Mel­rose Av­enue and turn­ing in both di­rec­tions from Stonelaw Road. You have to be look­ing in all four di­rec­tions. “This is an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen.” Sharon Mac­In­tyre’s son Gre­gor is in pri­mary six at St Colum­bkille’s, which ear­lier this year closed the school gates to cars be­cause of ir­re­spon­si­ble park­ing.

Ex­plain­ing the school has ac­tively been pro­mot­ing walk­ing to school, Sharon said: “There haven’t been any ac­ci­dents on that street and the rea­son for that is be­cause there is a pa­troller there. It’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore some child is hurt.

“One of the main things that got us an­gry is this no­tice was put out on the last day of school as the kids were break­ing up for two weeks. This has been pre­sented as a fait ac­com­pli, that these peo­ple are out of a job and won’t be there when the kids come back. I’m not aware of any con­sul­ta­tion with par­ents, nor are any of my friends.

“The coun­cil have tried to sneak it by with­out peo­ple notic­ing, that was very ob­vi­ous in the way they put the let­ter out.”

Patrick Car­roll’s nine- year- old son uses the school cross­ing pa­trol when he is col­lected by his grand­par­ents at the end of the school day.

Patrick, who saw one of his best friends knocked down whilst at school, said: “What the coun­cil has done is ab­so­lutely dis­gust­ing, tak­ing away what is a life­line to some peo­ple.

“I would like to know when the risk as­sess­ments were done on this. I would ques­tion whether the risk as­sess­ment was done in the in­ter­est of the chil­dren or the in­ter­est of sav­ing money.”

A spokesman for South La­nark­shire Coun­cil said it had been forced to re­duce school pa­trols be­cause of fi­nan­cial pres­sures and that all sav­ing pro­pos­als were out­lined in the leaflet sent to house­holds in South La­nark­shire as part of the bud­get set­ting process.

He said: “These pa­trollers cov­ered pre­dom­i­nantly sec­ondary school routes and risk as­sess­ments were un­der­taken to­wards the lat­ter part of 2015, both in the morn­ing and af­ter­noon pe­ri­ods, to en­sure that the roads could still be crossed safely pro­vided that rea­son­able care is taken and that chil­dren were ac­com­pa­nied by an adult if re­quired.

“School com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing pa­trollers and par­ents, were ad­vised of the changes di­rectly. Pa­trollers af­fected by these pro­pos­als would have ei­ther been plan­ning to re­tire or are to be re­de­ployed to other lo­ca­tions or po­si­tions across the coun­cil.”

Other lo­ca­tions to lose their school pa­trols in­clude: Calder­wood Road and Grey­stone Av­enue; Calder­wood Road and Dry­burgh Av­enue; Grey­stone Av­enue and Un­der­wood Road; Hamil­ton Road and McCallum Av­enue; Dukes Road and Hawthorn Walk.

Cross­ing Par­ents say the cross­ing at Parkhill Drive is too dan­ger­ous with­out a pa­troller

Anger Par­ents and chil­dren at St Colum­bkille’s are un­happy at the plans

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