PARENTS have slammed the decision to slash the number of crossing patrols in Torfaen, accusing the council of putting money before child safety.
Following a review process 21 school crossing patrols will be cut after they ‘failed’ to meet national criteria set out by Road Safety GB, Torfaen Council said.
The 17 lunchtime operations in the borough will also be axed. There were originally 40 sites in Torfaen – 19 of those will remain.
Pontnewynydd Primary School parent Vicki Carter, who is against the removal of the crossing patrol from Limekiln Road, said: “It shocks me that the council is proceeding with this after the level of complaints from parents and the community. It will be a matter of time before an accident happens and then it will be too late.”
The review was carried out in-line with school crossing patrol service guidelines produced by Road Safety GB. It is estimated the changes will save the authority around £65,000 a year. The chairman of governors at Victoria Primary School – which is set to lose two crossing patrols – Rita Wilkins, walks her two grandchildren to school.
She said: “It’s a sad day for Torfaen when the council decides saving money is more important than our children’s safety. It’s ridiculous, as the roads are very busy and it will put children at risk.”
The executive member for neighbourhood services, Cllr John Cunningham, previously explained changes in travel habits have changed with some sites seeing a decline in the numbers using them.
Also that some crossing points have undergone improvements. The review measured the number of pedestrians and the volume of traffic at each site to determine whether a crossing patrol was justified.
Ten of the 40 sites have been vacant due to a lack of applicants and the council is working with employees affected to explore redeployment opportunities.
A governor at Cwmffrwdoer Primary School, Jason Peake, called the proposal “crazy” adding: “Everyone is worried as there are so many junctions and blind spots it would be hard for children to navigate without help.”
For the list of changes, visit http://www.torfaen.gov.uk/en/News/Related-Documents/07-SCP-Review-Summary.pdf