A PRIMARY school may lose its lollipop lady because there have not been enough accidents outside the school.
Parents and teachers at Sharpness Primary School are outraged at the prospect of putting schoolchildren in danger because of county council cuts and have launched a petition to save their cherished road assistant.
Jo Savage, from Wanswell, has been helping children cross the roads safely since joining the staff in June on a six-month temporary contract.
A Gloucestershire County Council representative visited the school on Wednesday, October 31, to monitor morning traffic and determine Mrs Savage’s future on the basis of this inspection.
Parents, residents, school pupils and ward district councillor Liz Ashton turned out to support Mrs Savage with banners and a petition.
Jill Brooks, head teacher at the school, said that while the volume of traffic passing the school was not always huge, the nature of the roads made it a dangerous place to cross independently.
"We are on a brow of a hill, with a bend on one side," she said. "Cars pass each other up the hill and have to use the other side of the road."
Mrs Savage said she sometimes worried about her own safety outside the primary school.
"It is just an incredibly busy place in the morning and afternoon," she said. "Sometimes I even think, 'Are the cars going to see me?'"
As well as fulfilling the role on the school crossing, Mrs Savage has a close relationship with the primary school, as her children attended the school and her grandchild is currently a pupil.
She plays a real part in the school community, even helping out with cooking for reception and carrying out midday supply work.
Mrs Brooks added: "Every school should have the opportunity of a lollipop lady to ensure everyone crosses the road safely.
"This is quite a difficult road to patrol, let alone for children to cross on their own."
But the county council said that the lack of accidents by the school meant that it did not qualify for a crossing patrol.
Road safety team leader at Gloucestershire County Council, Andre Bovington, said: "In the past five years, there have been no reported road traffic collisions outside the school and, according to the National Guidelines, this site simply does not warrant a crossing patrol when compared to the other 66 sites in the county at which we fund the service.
"Despite this, we have told the school that we will continue to fund a temporary crossing patrol until Christmas and we will, of course, continue to monitor the road. No decision has been made on whether a crossing patrol will be needed in the long term."