PEOPLE power has resulted in a Wigan school crossing patrol being reinstated after an outcry from parents.
The regular crossing patrol outside St Luke’s Primary School, Lowton, had been moved to another site last week, prompting concerned parents to contact the council.
And due to the response, Wigan Metrofresh has announced that a new patrol will be in operation on Church Road from this week.
Coun James Grundy, who worked alongside many of the parents to have the patrol reinstated and even acted as a temporary patrol officer on Friday said that he was pleased that the issue had been resolved.
He said: “Church Road is an incredibly busy road and parents from the school were very concerned for the safety of their children outside of the school.
“But it is good that they (Metrofresh) have seen sense, I don’t think they realised how much upset they had caused.
“Although, this is also further evidence, with regard to the core strategy decision, that this area cannot accommodate more houses, the traffic is already too busy and that would only make it worse.”
Lowton resident, Dr Robert McLachlan, was among the group of parents who voiced concerns about the decision.
He said: “To be fair to the council I think they had moved the crossing person because of a shortage of staff and our crossing is not down as a category A, even though the road is very busy.
“I think all of us making a fuss did help speed up the process a bit and I am happy that the problem has been solved. It does highlight though that there is an evident shortage of school patrol officers if they are having to pick and choose.”
Debbie Clarke, MetroFresh service manager, confirmed that the crossing outside St Luke’s is deemed to be low priority during times of staff shortages.
She said: “We fully appreciate the concerns expressed by the school and by parents themselves.
“The safety of children on the roads is a top priority for us.
“When we have sickness or absence across the borough, we prioritise category A and B crossings to ensure they are covered in the first instance.
“The crossing at St Luke’s is a category D crossing.
“Unfortunately, due to absence in the service, we have had to use the patrol based at this school to cover a higher grade of crossing in another area.
“This arrangement will be in place until further notice.
“We will ensure a temporary crossing patrol is in place until a longer term solution can be found.”
The school is now satisfied that the situation has been resolved and that there will be someone on the crossing on Monday.
Co-headteacher Steve Hardaker said: “The safety of our pupils is paramount. We have worked with MetroFresh to resolve the situation regarding the importance of the school crossing on such a busy main road. And we are pleased it has been rectified.”