Lollipop patrols under review

THE familiar site of lollipop patrols helping children get safely to school could soon be a thing of the past in some areas of North Somerset.

A review is being carried out by North Somerset Council into the future of the 41 locations currently designated as crossing patrol sites near the district’s schools.

The review is assessing whether the current sites still fit the necessary criteria for a crossing patrol, which sees the number of vehicles at the location assessed against the number of pedestrians.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “The amount of traffic flow and pedestrians crossing can change over time and we need to ensure that assessments are up to date.

“There are a number of vacancies, but while the review is taking place we are not recruiting, in case any of these sites no longer meet the criteria.

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“Whilst the review is taking place, and the range of options considered, no decisions have been made.”

For those sites still deemed eligible for a crossing patrol, alternative options, such as the installation of zebra or pelican crossings, could be considered in the hope of creating more sustainable road safety solutions.

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Currently, only 20 of the designated sites have lollipop men or women working there, with the remaining 21 left vacant.

Each patrol person works about six hours per week and costs the unitary authority an average of �1,640 per year. There can also be additional equipment and uniform costs.

If all 41 sites were filled the total cost would amount to �67,240. The 20 sites currently operating will be costing �32,800 per year.

During the review, North Somerset Council will be considering a range of options for each individual site to allow it to be sustainable in the long term.

A lollipop stop sign carries the same legal power as a red traffic light and if ignored could see a driver eligible for a �1,500 fine and three points on their licence.

In an attempt to catch people ignoring the signs, North Somerset Council is trialling a lollicam outside Wraxall Primary School in Bristol Road, which has two cameras mounted on it.

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