WORRIED parents fear for their children’s safety after being left with no school crossing patrol on a road described as “one of the most dangerous in the city”.
Mums and dads of pupils at East Herrington Primary School in Sunderland are urging the authorities to get a lollipop man or woman in place now rather than waiting until next year’s term begins in September.
Children at the school are having to cross the busy B1286 Silksworth Road unaided after the previous crossing patrol retired.
There is no pelican crossing or traffic lights on the road next to the school.
Parents received a letter from the school to say the patrol person would be leaving and that there were no immediate plans for a replacement.
And with just under five weeks of the school term left until the summer holidays, parents are pleading that a patrol be put in place now.
Mum Vicky Gamblin’s sons Isaac, 11, and Lucas, eight, both go to the school.
Ms Gamblin, of East Herrington, says from now on she will have to drive both boys to the school gate.
The 38-year-old operations manager at Gentoo said: “The school encourages children to walk and they are prepared for them to do that but as a parent I am not able to allow that to continue.
“There are huge congestion problems in this area and I need to safeguard my children’s safety.”
St Chad’s ward councillors Stuart Porthouse and Alan Wright want to see a new patrol put in place as quickly as possible.
“This school crossing is probably one of the most dangerous in the city as the crossing is adjacent to the bend in the B1286 and anyone crossing the road must be very vigilant,” said Coun Porthouse.
“Children crossing the road at the junction of Silksworth Road and Balmoral Terrace must be much more vigilant as there is another junction close by into Longmeadows.
“We know that the council has protected the budget for school crossings but I understand they have more than 90 sites and only 70 patrols.
“We urge the officers to get a replacement as soon as possible.”
Coun Wright added: “We understand that this a low-paid job and we are relying on community support.
“But the job is only for a few hours a day.”
Les Clark, head of Street Scene, Sunderland City Council, said that they hope to get a crossing patrol in place as soon as they can.
Mr Clark said: “The City Council is working to re-establish this crossing patrol as soon as possible following a retirement.
“We are looking to recruit a suitable person to undertake these duties and would welcome applications for this very important community work.”
More information on school crossing patrol vacancies is available on the Jobs and Careers pages at www.sunderland.gov.uk or by calling 561 1525.