IMPATIENT motorists are putting children's lives at risk by driving around a lollipop man on a busy Cheadle road. Concerns over incidents involving the school crossing patrol in Tean Road were debated at a meeting of Cheadle Town Council on Monday. A letter from PCSO Mark Bridgwood raised “major concerns for the safety of the children and the school patrol.”
PCSO Bridgwood requested an urgent safety review of the site and said the school crossing patrol warden had reported an alarming increase in drivers stopping too close, failing to stop or driving around him.
At the meeting of the town council’s development services meeting on Monday, June 3, Cllr Martin Tighe, said: “I take it that Tom has been trained? In the Highway Code he’s supposed to put the head of the lollipop out to warn drivers that he’s about to step out.
“I also think that sometimes there’s too much time spent letting people cross, which creates the backlog.
“I’ve seen him stand there in the middle of the road with nobody crossing, but there’s someone 15 yards away and he waits for them.
“It could be six of one and half a dozen of the other.”
It was suggested the warden could be moved to the crossing nearby, but this suggestion had been rejected by Staffordshire County Council in the past.
Cllr Ron Locker said: “Children’s lives are most important. If there’s an easy route out then they will run for it. It’s not so long ago we were talking about losing our crossing patrols.
“I think we’ve got to ask the county council to ensure that they are doing the job as prescribed.
“There’s so much traffic and it’s so dangerous, we’ve got to do everything we can to ensure children’s lives are protected as they go to and from school.”
Concerns were also raised about the levels of traffic through the town in the mornings and afternoons.
Cllr Greg Powell said: “I’d like to highlight that there’s a real concern with what’s going on in Tape Street and Tean Road.
“The slow build up of traffic all the time – people are trying to get to work, queues are getting longer.
“People are basically desperate to get through Cheadle.
“That’s only going to get worse as the traffic gets bigger.
“We need to highlight to County Highways – that say we haven’t got any issues – there are consequences that we are seeing now with this build up of traffic.”
The council agreed to write to the county council to ask for a review at the crossing.
Cllr Richard Alcock added: “He’s got a job to do and he does it well. Some people won’t stop for anything.”
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