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Video - Why Warwickshire parents are fighting for a safe road crossing for their children





PARENTS are fighting a decision that would leave their children without a school crossing patrol on a narrow, busy road used by buses and farm vehicles.

Children have been helped across Duffus Hill on their way to Moreton Morrell Primary School by a lollipop man for more than a decade, thanks to funding from Warwickshire County Council. But when Ron Cleeton retires this Easter, children will be left to fend for themselves.

The county council says it has reassessed the site and the Moreton Morrell crossing did not meet the criteria required for WCC to fund a patrol.

A petition has been launched to try to reverse the decision.

Parent Debbie Hall, who set up the online petition, said: “The road is narrow with poor visibility due to hedges on both sides. It is extremely busy at school opening and closing times with students and staff accessing the nearby college, parents dropping off school pupils and general commuters. The road is used by multiple school buses, coaches and farm vehicles.

“The point at which the children cross is particularly vulnerable due to cars parked along the length of the narrow road.

“This is an accident waiting to happen and the council needs to act now.”

Pupils have also written to MP Jeremy Wright. One pupil said: “There are sharp bends either side of the school gate, making it impossible to see around. Young children could easily run into the busy road and a replacement school patrol officer would keep everybody safe. Mr Cleeton is a crucial part of any school day and we would like a replacement to be as excellent as him.”

Headteacher Sarah Eadon added: “Ron’s services to school have been invaluable and he will be greatly missed. Our school crossing patrol is incredibly important in ensuring all of our pupils are able to access school safely. Any support that the local community can give us by signing the petition and helping to get our voices heard will be greatly appreciated.”

A county council spokesperson said: “The school crossing patrol is retiring at Easter, and in line with the RoSPA and Road Safety GB regulations a site assessment was therefore required.

Ron Cleeton has been helping children and parents cross the road outside Moreton Morrell Primary School for the past 13 years. Photo: Mark Williamson
Ron Cleeton has been helping children and parents cross the road outside Moreton Morrell Primary School for the past 13 years. Photo: Mark Williamson

“The council assess the crossings by completing a pedestrian and vehicle count. During this process the school is informed and are asked to raise awareness within the school community to ensure that the highest number of primary school aged children are actively using the crossing during the time that the assessment is undertaken. This assessment will indicate if the site meets the criteria for WCC to fund a patrol. If the criteria is met, the recruitment process to secure a patrol is then started.

“Following a thorough review of the assessment data, the Moreton Morrell crossing did not meet the criteria required for WCC to fund a school crossing patrol.

“Moreton Morrell Primary School has been contacted by the council’s road safety education and safe and active teams to discuss and implement training and educational opportunities to support the students and staff commuting to and from the school.”

If the council is unable to fund an officer, the parents are asking for a zebra crossing to be installed.

The county council said it has 33 working patrols and nine vacancies in the county, two of which are likely to be filled soon.

Sign the petition at https://tinyurl.com/3423ebky.



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