Committee approves plan to remove crossing funding from dozens of Norfolk sites

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Norfolk county councillors have today approved plans to cut funding from dozens of school crossing patrols across the county.

A public consultation exercise is now due to be launched on the measures, which were backed at a meeting of the authority’s children’s services committee in Norwich this morning.

Crossing patrols are currently provided at 96 sites across the county.

But, under these proposals, 38 which have been deemed not to meet safety criteria would have funding removed next April.

The locations were assessed under new national guidelines compiled by the Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association.

They looked at factors including the numbers of children and vehicles passing over the crossing points, nearby hazards, such as junctions or bends and whether other safety measures are provided at the sites.

Concerns have been raised about the impact of the cuts, with some claiming they will have a negative impact on education.

But a report published ahead of the meeting claimed there had only been two incidents involving pedestrians across all of the sites which are not deemed to meet the funding standards in the past six years and extra support would be offered to affected schools.

It added: “This is a high profile service that can easily become emotive with citizens and stakeholders.

“We will be working with colleagues to identify any opportunities for further road safety measures.”

Officials said members would have to agree to spend an extra £42,000 on top of the amount already budgeted for to fund the sites that do meet the criteria.

But it said the measures will save nearly £100,000 compared to the costs of providing patrols at all the current sites.

Consultations on the plan are due to continue until December 31.

A final report on the issue will be presented to the committee in January.