Following a seven-week consultation of Wokingham Borough Council’s proposal to remove school crossing patrollers (SCP) from the eight locations that also have an existing dedicated crossing, and having considered all submitted comments, it has been decided to implement the changes after an inspection of all sites to ensure the crossings are in good, safe condition.
About 100 people took part in the consultation, with a further 400 people signing two petitions and their comments have all been considered. The responses covered a wide range of issues, most of which related to general highways issues and other to the role of SCP. The responses raised some issues at specific sites (not related to SCP) and so the borough council has decided that:
- All pedestrian crossing at the affected sites be inspected to ensure all are operating correctly and are in good condition
- Consideration be given to the adaption of one of pelican crossings into a puffin crossing
- All traffic light controlled crossings are inspected to ensure the Remote Monitoring System (RMS) that automatically reports faults is working and is in good working order
The SCP at the affected locations will then cease at the end of this academic year (July 2017). A report (PDF document) detailing the borough council's response to the issues raised is available.
Interim head of highways and transport Alex Deans said: "The council understands that lollipop men and women are sometimes very popular, but the reality is that they provide the same function as a dedicated crossing – which themselves make it safer for people to cross the road. The consultation has not highlighted anything to contradict this, but it has raised some specific issues unrelated to SCP at some sites that we can look into before implementing the changes."
The eight affected locations are listed below. Local schools, ward councillors and relevant Town and Parish Councils have been informed of the consultation outcome:
- Emmbrook Infant and Junior School, Emmbrook Road, Wokingham
- Highwood Primary School, Fairwater Drive, Woodley
- The Coombes Primary School, School Road, Arborfield
- Earley St Peters Church of England Primary School, Church Road, Earley
- Whiteknights Primary School, Elm Road, Earley
- Beechwood Primary School, Northway, Woosehill
- Sonning Church of England Primary School, Pound Lane, Sonning
- Hawthorns Primary School Northway, Woosehill