Norfolk lollipop patrols ‘could face axe’

Queniborough Primary School are without a crossing patrol EMN-160223-154953001

Queniborough Primary School are without a crossing patrol EMN-160223-154953001

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Dozens of school lollipop patrols across Norfolk could be scrapped in order to reduce costs.

The fate of 41 lollipop patrols outside schools is set to be decided by a Norfolk County Council committee at a meeting tomorrow.

The county council operates 97 patrols for 93 Norfolk schools, but says approximately 40 of these no longer meet the standards set out by national guidelines.

A report to the children’s services committee states that to run the service as it is a further £140,920 is needed on top of the £128,610 budget.

The council had earlier agreed to reduce the crossing patrol budget by £150,000 in the 2015-2016 and 2016 and 2017 financial years.

Committee members have been given five choices for the future of the crossing patrol.

Under the first choice of managing the service within current budgets, the council would need to cut around 40 sites, leaving just 17. There are hopes that road calming measures could be installed at some of the sites within the parish partnership scheme.

The second option is to continue running the service as it but this would require an additional £140,000 investment.

Councillors could chose to continue the service for those sites which meet the national criteria and this would require a budget of approximately £180,000.

But if the number of sites remains at 40 the service would need an additional £40,000 over a five month period.

The fourth option is to cut the service, which would save £128,610 or the fifth choice is to subcontract the service.

Under Road Traffic regulations, the council has a duty to satisfy that patrols are suitably manned.

The county council follows guidelines set out by the Local Authority Road Safety Officers Association. Factors to be considered when calculating if a site meets the threshold includes number of children using the crossing, number of vehicles, width of road and visibility.