Parents’ concern at Doncaster lollipop staff shortage

School crossing patrol
School crossing patrol

More than 20 per cent of Doncaster’s school crossing patrol sites have no-one working on them, The Star can reveal.

In total, Doncaster has 56 crossing points for lollipop men and lollipop women to cover.

But 12 currently have no one staffing them, Doncaster Council has revealed.

That means 21.4 per cent are currently without a warden, sparking concerns for the safety of children in the borough’s schools from one parent who is campaigning on the issue.

But Doncaster Council says they will all be fully staffed in the new school year, starting in September.

Tracy McFarlane, a mum who son attends Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Intake, has campaigned to get a crossing patrol at her son’s school, and is planning to start a petition on the issue generally.

She said she is concerned a child will be seriously injured because of gaps in coverage.

She said: “I believe it is only a matter of time before a child gets hit crossing a road that is missing its crossing patrol.

“For the number of children crossing a road and the number of cars parked on the streets near the schools, I think we have a dangerous situation.

“Commons sense dictates that for the small amount of money it would cost to fill all the crossing patrols, and with the number of people at the moment who need jobs, we should be able to fill these positions.”

She said she had been told her son’s school has received some cover during the week, from a warden who has been relocated from another patrol in the borough - something she fears has simply transferred the problem elsewhere.

The crossing points which currently have no wardens are Greenlands Avenue, Rossington; Hayfield Lane, Finningley; Doncaster Road, Bawtry; Broadway, Dunscroft; Sheep Dip Lane, Hatfield; Melton Road, Sprotbrough; Jossey Lane, Scawthorpe; Amersall Road, Scawthorpe; Churchfield Road, Campsall; Moss Road, Askern; Owston Road, Carcroft and Low Road, Consibrough.

The council says it will have wardens for each in September - but added it is not contractually obliged by law to provide crossing patrols.

Director of adults and communities, Joan Beck, said: “Doncaster has 56 crossing points serving 81 primary schools in total. Some schools do not require crossings as they are a quiet location while other points are located on main roads and cover up to three schools.

“There are currently 12 uncovered points due to vacancies but we have recently recruited new wardens to fill these gaps.

“All vacant points in Doncaster should be covered by the new school year starting in September.”

The council’s website says school crossing patrols are put at places where children are in danger from traffic when crossing roads on their way to and from school.

It adds the site needs to reach a certain criteria, including the number of children wanting to cross the road and the amount of traffic passing.