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Waddon parents protest against Croydon Lollipop cuts


PARENTS have protested outside Aerodrome Academy in the latest show of anger over plans to axe lollipop men and women.

Maureen Seymour, 62, mans one of ten crossing patrols set to be cut as the council looks to save £60,000.

Parents say Goodwin Road, the street outside the school, is dangerous because "impatient" drivers use it as a cut-through.

Earlier this year, the Advertiser launched a Stop The Cuts campaign to save the patrols and on Tuesday, parents took up the cause outside Aerodrome, one of nine affected schools.

"We're worried about the safety of the children if the lollipop lady goes," said Jemma Goucher, who has two children, four-year-old Charleigh and five-year-old Harlee, at Aerodrome.

"The drivers, particularly the ones who use it as a cut-through to get to Pampisford Road, aren't very patient

"This is the only school on the estate so lots of kids use the crossing. If they have to cut something it should be something which isn't going to impact on their safety."

The under-threat lollipop men and women work on automated or zebra crossings, but evidence suggests the roads are still unsafe. Last month the Advertiser revealed that 43 people had been injured in collisions on or near the crossings in the last three years.

The council, which is making the cuts as part of wider proposals to save £36 million over the next two years, has suggested that schools fund the patrols.

Lucille Driscoll, 34, is another parent backing the campaign. She believes her daughter Abbeygayle, 5, could be in danger.

"Twenty years ago my mum campaigned to get a crossing outside the school when I was a pupil here, so I know how important it is," she said.

"The road isn't safe. The drivers are ignorant and don't worry about children coming out of school.

"The lollipop lady often has to stand in front of the kids and block them from darting out.

"There's only one school on this estate, and the school is getting bigger. How can the council ask us to take extra classes then take our lollipop lady away?

"It has a cheek to ask the school to fund the patrols when they are responsible for the roads."

Like most little boys, Ky Taylor, 6, can sometimes let enthusiasm get the best of him.

"I wouldn't be as confident that my son was safe if the lollipop lady wasn't there," said mum Lisa.

"I know there is a zebra crossing, but Ky doesn't seem to think there is one."

Ms Taylor, 45, says road safety is particularly difficult for parents with several children.

"There is one mum who has six kids – keeping an eye on all of them isn't easy," she explained.

"It's sad really. This is a large estate with a lot of children and we're only talking about a few hours in the morning and afternoon. It's not much to ask."

Aerodrome is backing its parents and has set up a petition in support of the campaign.

The council had been due to decide which crossing would be cut this month, but the decision has been put back to mid-May at the earliest.

Waddon parents protest against Croydon Lollipop cuts

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