Call to bring back axed lollipop patrols before these Greater Manchester schools go back next month

A petition to restore the patrols has attracted hundreds of signatures.

<p>A lollipop man get the thumbs up from a St Vincents Primary School pupil at the Caldershaw Road crossing in Norden Credit: Nick Statham LDR</p>

A lollipop man get the thumbs up from a St Vincents Primary School pupil at the Caldershaw Road crossing in Norden Credit: Nick Statham LDR

A councillor has called for dozens of axed lollipops crossings to be reinstated before schools in Rochdale go back next month.

Three years ago, patrols were cut at 40 primary and secondary schools deemed to have a ‘low’ road safety risk as part of a council cost cutting drive.

The controversial decision meant it was down to school governors to pay the council £4,000 per year to continue with the service or lose their lollipop.

A petition to restore the patrols was launched by Councillor Peter Winkler – a governor at Caldershaw Primary School – and attracted more than 330 signatures.

A lollipop man get the thumbs up from a St Vincents Primary School pupil at the Caldershaw Road crossing in Norden Credit: Nick Statham LDR

Now Coun Winkler, who represents the Norden ward is urging local authority bosses to think again ahead of the new school term beginning in September .

The deputy Conservative group leader says the decision to cut patrols remains ‘wrong and needs reversing’ – claiming a Labour election pledge to reinstate the patrol at St Vincent’s primary concerns remained.

“I now want to see funding for this and all the other patrols reinstated in time for September,” he said.

“They were removed with three weeks’ notice – with six weeks until the start of the new school year I am sure that they can be brought back in time for children returning.  This would mean that when children return in September, they have patrols in place to help them cross dangerous roads safely.”

Councillor Peter Winkler Credit: Rochdale Council website

 Coun Winkler claims the council has a ‘basic duty of care’ to ensure that children are safe on their way to and from school.

“We are all aware of how dangerous and busy the roads are, especially around schools at the start and end of the school day.  I have never understood why these services had to be cut as the council had a balanced budget before removing them.  It’s time to bring them back.”

Rochdale council leader Neil Emmott said bosses were exploring the possibility of bringing back the axed crossing patrols.

He said: “We have faced several years of severe reductions in our government funding which have forced us to take increasingly difficult decisions. Road safety is a key priority for my cabinet and I, and over recent months we have been reviewing previously removed school crossing patrols to see if they can be reinstated.”