Felixstowe: Lollipop lady in cuts protest over fears children could be killed by lorries

FELIXSTOWE: Children’s safety could be in danger if planned cuts to school crossing patrols go ahead, according to a lollipop lady who has launched her own protest.

Anne Ryan, lollipop lady at Langer Primary School for the past three years, says her role in helping young children cross the busy Langer Road is vital to avoid accidents.

The 51-year-old, of Adastral Close, said: “If there is an accident on the Dock Road, they bring the lorries through Langer Road and right up to Garrison Lane, and the big container lorries won’t see the kids on the crossing.

“If there’s no lollipop lady there, they don’t stand a chance – I worry that children are going to get killed.”

This comes just weeks after the county council announced it is considering axing the entire �230,000 budget for school crossing patrols across Suffolk.

Langer headteacher Catherine Banthorp said: “I think it’s very short-sighted and very concerning for children’s safety, especially on dark winter mornings like these.

“We want children to walk to school – that is the healthy message – and we are a catchment school, so most of our children could walk here.

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“Walking to school on your own or with friends is also part of getting independence – but it helps parents to know that Anne is outside the school.

“It’s very concerning because this is a very busy road, so we are supporting keeping the school crossing patrol and so are all the staff here.”

Lollipop ladies and men also operate outside primary schools in High Road in Trimley, Grange Road and Maidstone Road.

Mum Amanda Bloomfield, also of Adastral Close, is worried for nine-year-old son Joshua’s safety.

“I think we do need a lollipop lady here,” said the 44-year-old.

“If there is an accident on the main Dock Road, all the lorries come this way and we’re not just talking a few – there’s loads of them.

“I would really worry about him coming to school because even I worry about crossing that road sometimes as it’s very dangerous. We definitely need Miss Ryan.”

County councillor Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, thanked crossing patrol staff for their dedication and said: “Proposals relating to the future of the school crossing patrol service will be considered by full council on 17 February.

“No decisions have yet been taken.”

Miss Ryan has started a petition against the cuts, which will be presented to Suffolk County Council at a meeting on January 11.

n What do you think of the proposed cuts to school crossing patrols? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk