Lollipop crossing agreed for lorry route close to Portslade school

Posted On 07 Oct 2014 at 9:40 pm

Children are to have a part-time crossing patrol for a busy lorry route close to their Portslade school.

But hopes for a pedestrian crossing in Church Road – near St Peter’s Community Primary School – have been put on hold while officials look at the competing merits of two possible locations.

One early hopeful to be the school’s lollipop man – the Greens’ parliamentary candidate in Hove, Christopher Hawtree – is unable to take up the post.

He offered to do the job without pay if no applicants for the part-time paid post came forward.

He said: “I volunteered to do it so long as nobody wanted to be paid to do it.

Councillor Christopher Hawtree

Councillor Christopher Hawtree

“I then applied and found that there was a palaver of references … and that having been done, there was a whole other thing of making sure I am not a criminal which would have taken weeks even if I had a passport, driving licence and birth certificate.

“Really dismayed at the (national) bureaucracy scuppering a community idea which would have been enjoyable.”

The lollipop lady or lollipop man will be employed as an interim road safety measure in Church Road, between St Michael’s Road and St Peter’s Road.

But the potential location of a crossing proved to be more problematic for members of Brighton and Hove City Council.

A report to the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee recommended siting it just south of St Andrew’s Road.

Parents and politicians are determined that most children cross Church Road by the corner of St Peter’s Road, where the school is.

Officials promised to take another look at technical and legal guidance and survey data to see if they could justify installing a crossing where the campaigners prefer.

Councillor Alan Robins

Councillor Alan Robins

Portslade South Labour councillor Alan Robins said: “There is already an island in the middle of the road and dropped kerbs on either side of the road.”

He said that this encouraged children and parents to cross at the location preferred by campaigners led by Rae Powers, of nearby Norway Street.

Councillor Robins said: “I went to school at St Peter’s 55 years ago and I lived in Wellington Street. For 50 years everyone’s crossed here.

“We need the crossing here for the benefit of school children.

“I really struggle to understand the resistance to this. You’ve got a whole community, the ward councillors and parliamentary candidates all in agreement and it’s still being resisted.”

He pointed out that pupil numbers at the school were expected to grow over the next few years. The number of lorries will also rise if Shoreham Harbour continues to improve its performance.

A report will be presented to the next meeting of the committee on Tuesday 25 November.

 

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