Council accused of 'complete disregard' for safety of children attending popular Aylesbury schools

Liberal Democrats slam Bucks Council over decision not to provide lollipop person on 'dangerous' road

Monday, 25th October 2021, 12:47 pm
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 2:06 pm

Aylesbury' s Liberal Democrats have accused Buckinghamshire Council of a ‘complete disregard' for the safety of children attending two popular Aylesbury schools.

Buckinghamshire Council has been criticised after unilaterally deciding to not provide a Lollipop Person on the Weedon Road in Aylesbury where hundreds of pupils cross to go to and from Haydon Abbey School and St Michael's Catholic Secondary School.

Lid Dem councillors claim the decision not to make provision for a Lollipop Person on the 'dangerous Weedon Road' was taken without consulting parents, teachers, or local councillors.

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Weedon Road

Lib Dems claim parents were only notified of the absence of the Lollipop Person on Friday afternoon (October 22) and local councillors were only notified after school pick up time.

Cllrs Anders Christensen, Tuffail Hussain and Gurinder Wadhwa, who represent Aylesbury North West, told The Bucks Herald the decision shows 'complete disregard for children’s safety'.

"We are horrified by this decision, and we fully support parents calls for this service to be maintained," the councillors said in a joint statement to The Bucks Herald.

"Children’s safety must be our number one priority. If we do not have a Lollipop Person on one of the busiest roads in Aylesbury, an accident will be inevitable.

“Making such a decision without consulting parents, teachers or local councillors shows how out of touch Buckinghamshire Council is with residents in Aylesbury and how little they care about local families.

“We have immediately called upon Buckinghamshire Council’s service directors to reverse this decision.”

A traffic light crossing was installed at the St Michael's end of the Weedon Road - opposite Holman Street - as part of the new school's construction.

And Steven Broadbent, Cabinet Member for Transport said this was a key consideration when electing not to replace the Lollipop Person following their resignation.

“Following the resignation of the School Crossing Patroller (SCP) at Haydon Abbey School, a standard site review has been carried out, and the decision made not to replace the SCP at this location," Cllr Broadbent told The Bucks Herald.

“When a patroller resigns it is the Council’s standard practice that a review of the site is undertaken to determine if the site still meets the Council’s policy for the provision of a SCP. The review determined that, with the installation of the Signal Controlled Crossing adjacent to St Michaels School and the existing Zebra Crossing near the A41 roundabout, there are already two safe locations, in close proximity, enabling safe access to Haydon Abbey School. The crossing was implemented to facilitate safe crossing to all the schools on this road as part of the development of St Michael’s School.

“We have written to the school asking for their support in informing their pupils, parents and guardians that the patrol site is no longer going to be in place so that they can plan their route to school after half term and to encourage parents to use the alternative crossings to gain safe access to school.”