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Video shows the danger facing Croydon's lollipop men and women

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THESE alarming images show the dangers facing Croydon's under-threat lollipop men and women.

The pictures, taken from a video shot by a cyclist, show an impatient driver heading straight at oncoming traffic before mounting a kerb a few feet away from lollipop woman Linda Conn.

Mrs Conn patrols one of ten school crossings the council wants to axe, to save £60,000 a year. Over the past week her crossing, in Northcote Road, Selhurst, has been sandwiched between temporary traffic lights installed due to work to repair first one section of a gas main, then another. The build-up of traffic was so precarious the 56-year-old's manager told her she did not have to work – but she soldiered on "for the children".

On Wednesday, she was given a reminder of the risk she was taking – and the potential danger posed if the crossing is axed.

Dr Ashley Brown, 30, a software engineer from Addiscombe, was waiting at the crossing as he made his way to work at 8.30am when he caught the incident on a video camera mounted in his helmet.

He explained: "There was a lot of traffic coming from the other direction, but it wasn't clear who had right of way so I waited.

"Suddenly the car behind me darted out. The driver had clearly had enough. The car overtook me on a zebra crossing and then mounted the pavement.

"It wasn't as if we had been waiting for five minutes and nothing had moved. We had been there for 40 to 50 seconds, but that about sums up the usual standard of driving on that road. I was so horrified about what had happened I uploaded the video to YouTube when I got into work."

The Advertiser has launched a campaign, backed by pupils, parents and head teachers, to save the ten crossing patrols.

Dr Brown, who cycles to work three times a week, said the cuts make little sense. He said: "I try to avoid the school run down there as much as possible. The traffic is quite heavy and the drivers are very pushy.

"It doesn't make any sense to cut the crossing on a main road at a time when people are at their most impatient.

"Given the standard of driving, and that it's a main road, it's not sensible at all."

Mrs Conn, who has been a lollipop woman for nearly six years, said: "I was told I didn't have to work if I didn't want, which was thoughtful, but I wanted to come in for the children. I would feel awful if one of them was hurt because I wasn't there."

A council spokesman said an assessment had concluded a patrol was needed to "assist while the roadworks were in place".

A spokesman for Scotia Gas Networks said: "We are currently working to repair a leak in the gas main in Northcote Road. "We have installed temporary traffic lights around our work area to ensure the safety of the general public, motorists and our engineers. "In addition, we're working with the school crossing patrol to ensure that safety of the pupils at the nearby school is not comprised by our works. "We were working in the road earlier in the week to repair a leak in a different section of the gas main. We have returned to Northcote Road to repair another leak in the same stretch of gas main. "We are working to identify the source of the leak and complete our repairs as quickly as possible. "Safety is our number one priority. All our work areas must comply with statutory requirements and we take any suggestions of breeches of this extremely seriously. "We appreciate that roadworks can be frustrating, but we would like to remind motorists to take extra care around our site. "This is urgent repair work and we'd like to thank local residents and road-users for their patience and cooperation."

Video shows the danger facing Croydon's lollipop men and women


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