Safety fears over plans for zebra crossing in place of lollipop patrol

Barbara Bellamy and Annmarie Pape are among King George Road residents concerned over plans for a zebra crossing.
Barbara Bellamy and Annmarie Pape are among King George Road residents concerned over plans for a zebra crossing.

Residents fear the loss of a school crossing patrol on a busy South Tyneside road could spell danger for youngsters.

Council bosses plan to replace the service, in King George Road, South Shields, with a zebra crossing but nearby residents are worried that the proposed crossing outside their homes could be a danger rather than a safety measure if drivers fail to stop.

The crossing is proposed for King George Roas near to Holmfield Avenue and Pape Avenue.

The crossing is proposed for King George Roas near to Holmfield Avenue and Pape Avenue.

While they want a crossing patrol back - following the last assistant retiring - they say they would back a pelican crossing on the stretch of road close to Holmfield Avenue and Page Avenue.

South Tyneside Council says it has struggled to replace crossing patrol officers in the borough and is consulting on the plans.

Annmarie Pape, 56, who lives with husband Brian, 55, said: “The issue we have is that we feelit will be a danger if there is zebra crossing there.

“It’s a definite risk and children could be injured or killed outside our houses. They should employ a new lollipop crossing lady.”

I am against this on the grounds that Zebra crossings are being proved to be more dangerous in this day and age.

David Bellamy

David Bellamy, 70, who lives with wife Barbara, 58, added: “I am against this on the grounds that zebra crossings are proving to be more dangerous in this day and age.

“A pelican crossing would have the added advantage of light to slow down the traffic.”

A spokeswoman for South Tyneside Council said: “The decision was made to install a zebra crossing following the retirement of the lollipop lady in December.

“Historically it has proven difficult to recruit school crossing patrols, particularly in this area.

“Whenever any new pedestrian crossing is considered, appropriate assessments and analysis are undertaken to determine the most appropriate solution for that location.

“As part of any new highways proposal it is necessary to consult with directly-affected residents and statutory partners which include the police and ambulance service. This process is ongoing.”

She added: “Once the new facility is in place the road safety team will be visiting all schools in the area to undertake additional road safety education to ensure children understand how to use the new crossing.”

Meanwhile, a puffin crossing, along with a guardrail, is being installed in John Reid Road, near to the Broseley Estate.

The council says there will no longer be a need for a school crossing patrol there, which will allow the officer to cover other areas of the borough to cover sickness or staff vacancies.