Road safe enough without lollipop lady, county says
The Chronicle, Thursday, 3rd March, 2011. www.chronicleseries.co.uk 7
By Tom Byrne A decision not to replace a lollipop lady who patrolled the road outside a school has been defended by Staffordshire County Council.
Barbara Billington retired from her patrol on Mow Cop Road, by Castle Primary School, Mow Cop, in December.
The council has forecast that nine further posts will be lost through retirements this year, saving £30,000.
The county decided that a replacement in Mow Cop wasn’t necessary after an assessment of the crossing.
Mow Cop Road is busy with traffic, especially at peak hours.
One parent at the school, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “Obviously it is better to have a lollipop lady near the school and I would prefer one. If a child was to cross on their own it would be dangerous but I think most parents cross with their children anyway so hopefully it won’t affect us too much.”
Defending his authority’s decision, Coun Mike Maryon, the county council’s Cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “When a school crossing patrol officer leaves their post we carry out an assessment of the location. This is to see what, if any, road safety measures are needed at the crossing point. If the location meets the national criteria for a school crossing patrol officer, it will continue to have one.
“However, it may be that an alternative type of crossing, for example a pedestrian or puffin, is needed. If it is found to be necessary on safety grounds, we will install the appropriate crossing. We have not made any school crossing patrol officers redundant and I can categorically state that no specific school crossing patrols have been earmarked to go in 2011/2012.
Coun Maryon added that the job losses were down to retirement rather than redundancy or unemployment. He added that Staffordshire has among the safest roads in the country and that the council is committed to retaining those strong figures.
He explained the measures that are in place to improve road safety: “We already have a wide range of innovative measures in place to ensure that children are safe on the journey to school. We have one of the highest numbers of walking buses in operation in Staffordshire and last year launched the ‘20 is plenty’ campaign which encourages motor
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ists to change their behaviour and slow down automatically on the approach to schools. When these measures are used in the right location at the right time, they have a very powerful impact on road safety.”
The headteacher of Castle Primary School was unavailable for comment when the “Chronicle” contacted the school this week.
Students enter Dragon’s den
Mr Green and Mrs Lawrence with the winning team. Macclesfield College students from the business, administration and finance advanced diploma course recently had the opportunity to present their business ideas to a panel of four influential local entrepreneurs in a “Dragons’ Den” style competition.
Tasked with coming up with a business proposal to improve the college’s service, the s ix groups had to successfully write their own business plans and pitch their ideas in order to win the (Monopoly) prize money.
The Dragons were David Murphy, NatWest senior bank manager; Congleton woman Angela Lawrence, marketing consultant at Itero Marketing; Jerry Green, governor and accountant, and Sarah Ludford, business adviser from Business Link.
The winning proposal came from Puddies, who came up with the idea of offering personalised hoodies to college students and presented their ideas with great passion.
Research showed their idea to be a real winner with the students, and the judges agreed.
Knutsford car park changes
Cheshire East Council has backed proposals to change car parking in Knutsford town centre.
The report looked at the control and provision of on and offstreet car parks. It did not review parking charges.
Recommended changes to be implemented include a uniform one-hour maximum stay period on town centre streets to avoid confusion and increase space availability for drivers; carry out a further review of car park use, following the change; look into the cost and practicality of adding a deck of parking to Tatton Street car park; carry out further surveys with local residents to establish if residents’ parking schemes should be introduced to areas of the town centre, and improve signage for car parks.
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