Gallery: Parents and pupils protest over planned Ipswich school crossing cuts

CHILDREN fearing for their future safety have raised placards in protest against proposals to cut patrolled school crossing services in Ipswich.

Joined by their parents and grandparents, pupils from Broke Hall Community Primary School used their daily walk to classes to step up their campaign to save the lollipop men and women at the double patrolled crossing in Ipswich’s busy Foxhall Road.

Protest organiser and father-of-two, Ian Brown, said the volume of traffic on the road meant the patrolled crossing near The Golf public house was crucial to childrens’ safety.

He said: “We are protesting against the proposed cuts to remove all school crossing patrols. This is a very busy road into Ipswich and it is used by about 100 children and parents every day. This crossing is crucial.”

Mr Brown, of Dorchester Road, Ipswich, called on Suffolk County Council to reject the proposals. He said more than 150 protesters have signed a petition.


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“The council needs to think again about these services. God help us if anything happens.”

Grandparent Herby Beckett, 69, of Crabbe Street, Ipswich, was among those protesting. He said: “We know cuts are necessary but there is a single executive earning �220,000 a year plus benefits at the council. That is a better place to look for savings.”

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Richard Griffiths, headteacher of Broke Hall Community Primary School, supported the protest.

He said: “We are keen to encourage children to walk to school safely. Obviously this crossing has a key part to play.

“It is crucial part of getting to school safely.”

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Across Ipswich and Suffolk, campaigners are stepping up their efforts to persuade councillors to throw out the proposals.

Yesterday, campaigners with children at Dale Hall Community Primary School handed over a 675-signature petition to councillors.

Organiser Sue Miller said: “We want to save the lollipop crossing near the school and lollipop men and women across Suffolk.”

Mum of two Fiona Dyes was among those who handed over a further petition yesterday at Suffolk County Council HQ Endeavour House to council leader Jeremy Pembroke.

Mrs Dyes said the Save Our Sally Campaign, named after popular lollipop lady Sally Hawkes, is aiming to save two patrolled crossings at Bramford Road and the junction of Bramford Lane and Kitchener Road.

Mrs Dyes said: “The council is looking to parents to find alternatives but many parents work during the day. It wouldn’t be practical or possible for many of us.”

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Councillors are hoping parents and schools will find alternatives to lollipop men and women.

County Councillor Guy McGregor, portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, said: “Proposals relating to the future of the school crossing patrol service will be considered by full council on February 17. No decisions have yet been taken. The council will consider all offers from teachers and volunteers to carry out patrol duties.

“We are currently working with teachers from a middle school in Bury St Edmunds who are crossing children.

“All the teachers have been trained, equipped with uniform and are insured.

“The county council appreciates the dedication and commitment of all school crossing patrol staff.

“Where there are changes to crossing patrol arrangements at a particular school we ask the school to inform their parents as ultimately, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children get to school safely.”

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