Safety fears over plan to ditch lol­lipop lady

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By SO­PHIE HALLE-RICHARDS so­[email protected] @so­phiehrMEN

PAR­ENTS have slammed a de­ci­sion to re­move a school lol­lipop lady amid fears their chil­dren’s safety could be put at risk.

Manch­ester coun­cil an­nounced plans to axe a cross­ing near Sandi­lands Pri­mary School on Wen­dover Road in Wythen­shawe by Christ­mas, blam­ing fi­nan­cial con­straints.

Coun­cil lead­ers say the im­ple­men­ta­tion of bol­lards along the road means the school has been rerated as only need­ing one cross­ing pa­trol not two.

But par­ents who use the cross­ing, which cov­ers a sec­tion of busy road and a junc­tion, say their lives would be­come a ‘night­mare’ if it were lost.

Mums and dads have also ex­pressed anger as the de­ci­sion will mean the loss of much-loved lol­lipop lady, Linda, who has been help­ing chil­dren cross the road for al­most a decade.

When we vis­ited Wen­dover Road at the junc­tion of Fern­down Road at 8.30am on a Thurs­day morn­ing, the road was ex­tremely busy.

Cars, vans and the oc­ca­sional lorry pass through at speeds vary­ing from any­where be­tween 20mph to 40mph.

At least 50 par­ents, grand­par­ents and chil­dren were as­sisted by Linda, who knows ev­ery­one’s name and asks them about their day as she en­sures they safely cross the road.

Kelly Taylor and her son Archie use the cross­ing every day. “I am 40 and went to the school my­self. There’s al­ways been a cross­ing here,” the mum-of-four s aid.

“It’s dis­gust­ing that they’ve de­cided to get rid of it; it’s al­ways busy and peo­ple come round that corner very, very quickly.

“All the kids know her and usu­ally Archie will go over and give her a big kiss, just like most of the other chil­dren do.”

Melinda Cosh, who has two chil­dren at Sandi­lands school, said: “My son is go­ing into year six and if we lose the cross­ing he’ll lose his in­de­pen­dence.

“There’s no way I would let him walk to school on his own without Linda, it’s far too dan­ger­ous.”

Par­ents say they were told about the de­ci­sion in a news­let­ter. In it, the school said: “School gov­er­nors are also look­ing at this de­ci­sion and have writ­ten to the coun­cil with their con­cerns.”

Manch­ester City Coun­cil have been con­tacted for com­ment.

Lol­lipop lady Linda has been help­ing chil­dren cross the road to Sandi­lands Pri­mary School for al­most a decade

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