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North Lopham rallies behind school’s campaign to save lollipop lady

St Andrew's Primary School in North Lopham campaigns to save 'lollipop' road crossing patrol service.
St Andrew's Primary School in North Lopham campaigns to save 'lollipop' road crossing patrol service.

The North Lopham community rallied behind their local school this week, to launch a campaign against proposals which may cut their lollipop service in 2017.

Children, staff, governors, parish and church councillors gathered at St Andrew’s Primary School on Monday morning to raise awareness of road dangers, after Norfolk County Council announced plans to axe 38 of its 96 road crossing patrols next March.

In an initial assessment, the county council identified St Andrew’s as a school that did not meet the threshold for a crossing patrol, claiming there was not enough traffic or children to warrant one.

But the school believes withdrawing this service would compromise pupil safety, and is now urging people express their support for keeping it in the council’s ongoing consultation, which runs until January 8, 2017.

Deputy headteacher Mel Mitchell told the Diss Express: “It would be crazy to get rid of it.

“We are trying to promote more walking to school, in line with the government, then the government decides to get rid of the lollipop ladies, which is completely counter-productive, and it’s going to leave our children unsafe.”

“It’s not just our problem, and if we raise the profile for our village, and other people do it for their places, someone might decide that it’s a daft idea, or really look at the threshold.”

The school’s proximity to a blind bend, the lack of pavement on part of one side of the road, and traffic speeding in the 20 mph zone have all been cited as safety concerns for North Lopham pupils.

For more about the consultation, go to https://norfolk.citizenspace.com/consultation/roadcrossingpatrols

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