FAMILIES have expressed fears for their children as a busy junction has been left unmanned by a patrol at its busiest times.
Complaints have been made to Durham County Council after the spot at Princess Road and Parkside Road in Seaham was left without a lollipop lady due to illness.
But highways bosses say they are struggling to fill the position and have welcomed applications for the post, with families who have voiced upset among those to turn down the opportunity.
Grandfather Neil Roseberry, who lives nearby and walks his grandchildren to school along the route, has written letters to the council calling for action warning “The current situation is nothing short of a death waiting to happen.”
He also says while he understands there are budget constraints, he believes nothing will be done until there is a “knee-jerk reaction to a fatality.”
The 47-year-old said: “There has always been a crossing patrol there but the lady is on sick leave and it is a case of concern and it’s really shown her value.
“Drivers don’t always have the common courtesy to stop to let kids cross, although a I’ve seen a couple of drivers do their public service and stop.
“Enough of us pay our council tax and this is nothing short of thrift.”
Seaham Trinity Primary has sent letters home to parents highlighting the lack of crossing patrol, passing on the appeal from the council as it seeks a replacement, and urged adults to ensure they help their children cross the roads safely.
The crossing safety team visited the school before half-term to teach pupils how to negotiate crossings and roads.
Headteacher Mr Bushby has told the council he would not only like to see the lollipop patrol covered at Parkside Road, but also on the crossing at Princess Road, which was lost when the patrol officer retired.
Brian Buckley, strategic highways manager at Durham County Council, said: “We have a number of crossing patrol staff sick at the moment and unfortunately our attempts to recruit reserves to fill the posts in that area have been unsuccessful.
“We continue to advertise and are frequently liaising with schools to ensure parents are kept up to date. We would ask everyone to take extra care when dropping off and collecting their children, and when walking to and from school.”