Sat, 30 Jul 2016
COLD Ash St Mark’s School is looking for a lollipop person to help tackle speeding motorists and improve children’s safety in the village.
The school has received funding to pay for a lollipopper for the school year starting in September.
Chair of governors at St Mark’s, Neil Ralph, said that the request followed parents’ concerns over children’s safety during the beginning and end of the school day.
“Currently the view is a school crossing patrol will help improve safety,” he said.
“It’s very busy outside the school and we have had a number of close calls. We feel this is a sensible way to help to reduce the dangers.”
Mr Ralph said the school was hopeful of recruiting someone for September and that anyone interested in the role should leave a message with the school.
The school has worked with Cold Ash Parish Council into improving safety along Cold Ash Hill.
However, plans for a speed hump outside the school were pulled, following opposition from residents, with many questioning whether it would actually solve the problem of speeding during school runs.
Cold Ash parish councillor Mike Munro said that the parish council was delighted with the news.
Mr Munro said that traffic “got a bit hairy” outside the school as lots of children crossed the busy road connecting Thatcham to the A34 and M4.
He added that there had been a number of incidents where cars had driven on to the pavement in order to pass cars parked outside the school.
“We are looking to improve the road safety through the village because we do have a traffic problem,” he said. “In the absence of having a crossing and more chicanes it’s a good alternative for us.”
St Mark’s was one of 20 schools to receive funding out of more than 6,000 primary schools that applied.
The campaign is run by Churchill Insurance, launched alongside PTA UK and supported by Road Safety GB.
Churchill said that the number of lollipoppers in the UK had declined after legislation no longer making them a statutory requirement for councils was introduced in 2000.
Indeed, West Berkshire Council ceased its funding for six lollipoppers in the district as part of its £17.5m cuts to services this year.
Churchill Insurance’s Lucy Brooksbank said: “We are thrilled to be providing the parents and children of Cold Ash with a lollipopper and ask any members of the local community interested in filling the role to put themselves forward with their local council.”