Staffordshire’s road safety chief has hit out at scaremongers who have falsely claimed that the county council is planning to cut school crossing patrols.
County Councillor Mike Maryon, Cabinet member for Highways and Transport, has categorically denied that he plans to reduce the number of people carrying out this vital service, saying;
“I am 100 per cent committed to Staffordshire’s school crossing patrol officers and have repeatedly vowed to support the team in the excellent work that it does.
“Unfortunately, a small group of scaremongers have been persistently whipping up fear among parents by claiming that the service is going to be reduced. The allegations made in these reports are total and utter rubbish.
“Staffordshire has some of the safest roads in the entire country and that does not happen by accident. It is down to innovation, hard work and a determination that we will not only maintain the excellent standards that we have already achieved, but improve upon them.
“It really is high time that the people who are perpetuating the rumour mill start to look at the facts rather than spreading panic among parents and children. It is grossly irresponsible and unhelpful.”
According to the Staffordshire County Council, there are no plans to make any crossing patrol officers redundant. If a school crossing patrol officer leaves their post an assessment is carried out at the location.
This is to see what, if any, road safety measures are needed at the crossing point. If the location meets the national criteria for a school crossing patrol officer, it will continue to have one.
However, if may be that an alternative type of crossing, for example a pedestrian or puffin, is needed. If it is found to be necessary on safety grounds, the appropriate crossing will be installed.
Staffordshire claims one of the highest numbers of walking buses in the country and last year launched the 20 is Plenty campaign which encourages motorists to change their behaviour and slow down automatically on the approach to schools, including St Michael’s RC Primary School in Lichfield and Chase Terrace Primary.
Legally enforceable 20mph limits were also activated outside eight Staffordshire schools in March in a drive to put the brakes on speeding motorists.