Mum sets up own school crossing patrol after lollipop lady retires '“ then gets ordered to stop by council
A mother has been ordered to stop helping children to cross the road on their way to school.
Becky Bailey says she will defy the warning from council officials until the crossing patrol vacancy at Biddick Hall Junior School, South Shields, is filled.
Council bosses say only the police and designated and trained school crossing patrols have the authority to stop traffic.
Becky - who wears a hi-visabilty vest - says she is not stopping cars, simply waiting for gaps in the traffic before guiding youngsters safely across the road.
The council is currently advertising for a crossing patrol at the school, in Chesterton Road, following the retirement of the previous lollipop lady.
The 31-year-old said: “After the previous lolipop lady retired, we had a temporary patrol but they have gone.
“I have three children at this school and the traffic here is horrendous on a morning and a teatime. There needs to be a lollipop person here.
“It’s dangerous and unfortunately there are some parents who are not helping by parking where the kids are crossing which blocks the view of the road.”
She added: “I’ve been doing this since the beginning of the week and I have had some abuse from parents over their parking.
“I’ve been told by the council I shouldn’t be doing it but I’m going to keep on until we get someone to help the kids cross the road.”
Another parent at the school, Kevin Cunnington said: “My eight-year-old son Kye comes to this school. “I think it’s amazing what she is doing. I know Becky and she is a lovely lass, really community spirited.
“The road at drop off and pick up time can be dangerous. Parents parked up on the keep clear signs and buses trying to get through.”
A spokesman for the council said: “Apart from the police, only designated and trained school crossing patrols have the authority to stop traffic. It is extremely dangerous for members of the public to try and stop moving traffic.
“We would advise people to follow the green cross code, wait for a safe gap in the traffic and ensure that they do not cross in between parked cars.”
Coun Moira Smith, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety at South Tyneside Council said: “There is currently a vacancy for a school crossing patrol officer at Biddick Hall Junior School. We are looking to put a patrol in place at this location as quickly as possible and are currently welcoming applications.
“We recognise that inappropriate parking at schools can become an issue at drop-off and pick-up times. We would urge parents to park in a responsible manner and to be aware of the disruption that inconsiderate parking can cause.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and will take action against those found to be in breach of the parking restrictions.”