Lollipop man banned from stepping into the ROAD.

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Lollipop man banned from stepping into the ROAD.

Post by Digger on Mon 29 Nov 2010, 6:54 pm

A lollipop man has been banned from stepping off the pavement to help children cross the road because of 'bonkers' health and safety rules.Ron Warrick has been helping youngsters from St Mary's Primary School in Shenfield, Essex, across a busy road for the past 18 months.
But after the county council spent 30,000 on safety improvements at the busy junction, Mr Warrick was stripped of his lollipop because it is 'unsafe' for him to step into the road.

Kerb your enthusiasm: Ron Warrick has been stripped of his lollipop after Essex County Council declared it 'unsafe' for him to step into the road
Now he just presses the button at the pedestrian crossing and waits on the pavement while youngsters cross the road.Liz Cohen, who has two children at the school and has beencampaigning for safety improvements for the past six years, said: 'WhatI don't understand is that he walked out into the middle of the roadfor 18 months.'
Another mother, who did not want to benamed, blasted the changes. She said: 'It's absolutely bonkers -whoever heard of a lollipop man who cannot go into the road, it's likethe punch-line to some ridiculous joke.
'If the council thinkit's too dangerous for Ron to cross the road then why on earth do theythink it's safe enough for our children to go across there?'
Mr Warrick was called into action after the school asked Essex County Council for a lollipop man to help children get across a busy Tabor's Corner junction near the school in a bid to encourage more of them to walk to class.
The council recently spent 30,000 improving safety at the junction and installed traffic-detecting cameras which give youngsters an extra two seconds to cross the road.

On edge: Mr Warrick now presses the button at the pedestrian crossing near St Mary's Primary School in Shenfield, Essex, and waits on the pavement while the children cross the road

After the equipment was installed, it was decided it was toodangerous for Mr Warrick to step into the road in case he could not getback in time before the green man started flashing.
ChrisBeazley, who is head teacher at the school, said he had been told thatthe lollipop man had been told to stay on the pavement to give parentsa lesson in crossing the road safely.
In a letter to parents,he added: 'You may have noticed that Ron no longer has his Stop Sign,and can no longer walk into the road with parents. 'Essex County Council says because parents cross incorrectly, Ron has to educate them to stop when the red man appears.'
He added: 'Of late, the crossing has been the busiest it has been for a long time, with parents queuing around the corner of the bike shop.
'This has been because the traffic was particularly heavy and cars were blocking the crossing all morning, not allowing Ron to get the parents and children across.'
He said the school had written to Essex County Council and Brentwood Council but both said there was no more money to improve the crossing further.
Adrian Tidbury from Essex County Council's Highways department said: 'If Ron does step into he road when the lights are green, with the volume of pedestrian traffic crossing the road, he will still be in the road when the lights change to red.
'It is at that point when it becomes unsafe.'
Mr Warrick, who wears a fluorescent orange and yellow jacket and baseball cap, is not allowed to use his lollipop stick or step into the road when youngsters are crossing.
And to add insult to injury, Mrs Cohen said the county council is now looking to axe their lollipop man altogether as he is only there on a temporary basis.
She said: 'Ron is there to make sure the traffic isn't blocking the crossing.
'If we lose Ron then we will need another four seconds crossing the road so we can all get across. I feel so strongly about this. I've seen so many near misses.'

What next ?

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