School’s hope for new lollipop person


- Credit: Archant

THEY used to be a regular site outside of playgrounds across North Somerset but now some schools in the district are struggling to recruit crossing patrol operatives.

Better known as lollipop ladies, the popular fluorescent-clad individuals are needed at 12 vacant sites across the district to help control traffic during morning and afternoon school runs.

One site in Old Street, Clevedon, near St Nicholas Chantry Primary School has been vacant for more than two years, with the position continually advertised without success.

Now, parents and the headteacher at the Highdale Avenue school are keen to get the message out they are in need of a new lollipop man or woman after a recent incident in which a child crossed Old Street into the path of an oncoming car.

Headteacher Peter Treasure-Smith said: “It has been advertised everywhere, in the job centre and in our newsletter several times.

“The people who have done it in the past have lived very nearby and fitted it around another job.

“North Somerset Council wanted to maintain the site because it’s a main through route not only for our school but also to Clevedon School.

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“That part of Old Street is quite narrow and is also a busy commuter route in the mornings.

“We have had a few concerns raised by parents and we had one incident quite recently with a child on a scooter who had a near miss when they shot across the road when a car was coming.

“That wouldn’t have happened if there had been a crossing patrol there.”

Father-of-two Matt Croughan, whose children attend the school, said: “Every day I see huddles of parents and kids gathering on the kerb choosing their moments to rush across the road - it is only a matter of time before a tragedy occurs. This year here have been several incidents and near misses on this stretch alone.”

While North Somerset Council currently holds a review into its 29 crossing patrol sites in the hope of making savings in next year’s budget, the authority says it is still keen to fill the vacancies.

Anyone interested in applying should contact the council’s school access officer at or on 01275 884078.