Cuts Watch #337: Lollipop men and women
A survey in the Times Educational Supplement has found that a quarter of the 60 councils they contacted were planning cuts in their crossing patrols. Some local authorities simply planned abolition of the service altogether, others were looking into replacing the paid workers with volunteers. The survey found that Northamptonshire planned to make the entire staff redundant; South Tyneside planned savings by abolishing most lunchtime patrols . Other authorities planning or considering cuts included Barnet, Birmingham, Dorset, Peterborough, Stockport, Stockton-on-Tees and Suffolk. Road Safety charity Brake has pointed out that roughly four million children walk to school every day and “pedestrian injury” is the largest cause of accidental death of children. Incidents on school journeys account for:
- 14.6% of all 5-7 year old casualties,
- 21.0% of all 8-11 year old casualties and
- 23.9% of all 12-15 year old casualties.
Brake also points out that the number of crossing patrols has been in decline for several years. It has been hard to recruit patrol officers, who say that violence and intimidation and dangerous speeding by drivers are becoming more common. The combination of this long-term trend and the cuts help explain the TES headline:
Could lollipop ladies become a thing of the past?