Safety fears as lollipop man could be axed

PARENTS are worried about their children’s safety as a village lollipop man could be axed.

Crossing patrol officer Dennis Hibbert, who is “very popular” among parents and teachers at Codicote Primary School, could go in a review of patrols at pedestrian crossings that have traffic lights, in a cost-cutting move.

Lindsay O’Dell, 43, of Valley Road, told the WHT: “Apart from the fact that the lollipop man, Dennis, is great, the road through Codicote is disproportionately busy because people use it as a cut through to the A1, so the road is incredibly busy.”

The mum-of-two added: “My son Max, who is in year four, uses the crossing every day as does about 90 per cent of the school population.”

She also revealed villagers had set up a petition and had gathered more than 100 signatures against the scrapping of the patrol.

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The school’s headteacher Liz Pollard also expressed concern.

She fears if Mr Hibbert goes traffic will increase around the school as parents may be reluctant to let their children walk to and from school.

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She added: “Dennis is a very important person in our school community and is very popular with parents and children.”

Mrs Pollard is also worried about her pupils’ safety because of the “sheer volume” of traffic.

She said that Mr Hibbert had previously vacated the patrol, until the Government scrapped the retirement age, and in the interim period two children were knocked down by cars.

Stuart Pile, the county council’s executive member for highways and transport, said: “We know school crossing patrols are popular, but we have to explore the options for making savings across all our services. We will look at each individual location in detail before reaching a conclusion.”

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