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Fight to keep lollipop man in West Moors
WORRIED parents are fighting plans to take away a school’s lollipop man on a busy road with a speed camera.
Maria Mawsom and fellow mums at St Mary’s First School, in West Moors , say crossing Station Road is dangerous and Dorset County Council’s attitude is mismatched.
A petition has been set up to save Peter, who has been helping children get to the school and pre-school since a school council campaign more than four years ago.
The council want to cut his £3,069 salary and build a £70,000 puffin crossing.
Mrs Mawsom, who has a four and seven-year-old at the school, said: “A child could easily trip or fall or walk out into the road.
“I know it’s our responsibility as parents to look after them but when you’ve got two or three children it’s hard to manage.
“The children have a great relationship with Peter and it infuriates me that the council feel the need to put a speed camera up and take that revenue, but something they’ve got to spend money on they want to get rid of.”
Mrs Mawson, of Highfield Road, challenged councillors and officers to come and cross the road themselves.
Nearly 200 children attend St Mary’s or the pre-school, which has no on-site parking.
Some parents pay £10 a year to use the memorial hall car park opposite and then walk their children across.
Headteacher Jeremey Harrison said: “Station Road is such a busy road that we feel as a school, regardless of whether there’s a puffin crossing or not, we need an actual lollipop man as well.”
Mr Harrison, whose office looks out onto the busy traffic, said schools in Sandford and Verwood have a fixed crossing and a manned patrol.
“We would be really sorry to see Peter go,” he added.
“He’s so much more than just a lollipop man.
“He really knows all the children and keeps an eye out for them, and spots if they are not with their parents and makes them wait.”
A spokeswoman for Dorset County Council said the crossing proposal was at the consultation stage and has yet to go before Cabinet.