School crossing patrol cut “puts lives of children at risk” say parents

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Parents say the lives of children will be put at risk by a council’s decision not to replace a vital crossing warden.

Hampshire County Council has said it will not be replacing an existing part-time warden who crosses children over a road in Droxford when he moves to a new job later this month.

Parents say the warden, who crosses children over at the junction of Police Station Lane / Union Lane and School Lane in the village, is vital for child safety.

They say the road is used as a rat-run and the decision puts children’s lives at risk. Conservative-controlled Hampshire County Council has said the road is not deemed to be high-risk.

Parent Jen Hillman said: “It’s a terrible decision as cars go way too fast on that stretch of road. It’s not a good call at all. Maybe they themselves may like to come and sit on that stretch of road at school drop off and pick up to see for themselves and see if they indeed would be happy for their children to cross alone.”

Another parent said: “This is an appalling decision. The visibility on this road is really poor and vehicles use it as a cut-through. It is vital for child safety that the council reverses this decision. Cutting the warden role won’t save much money – and what price can you put on the lives of children.”

Droxford School Headteacher Matthew Dampier said: “The road is busy and being a crossroad with multiple blind spots on a narrowing bend with no pavements, means it is difficult to navigate for pedestrians – our children and our families.

“Having someone to support this safe process is extremely important. I have done it many times and know this safeguarding measure is really necessary.”

The warden role had been carried out by the school’s part-time site manager as an additional role, but when the current site manager leaves later this month, the council has said it won’t be filling the extra crossing warden part.

Hampshire County Council has been contacted for comment. More than 48 hours later they still haven’t bothered to reply.

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