Mother’s safety fears over Depot Road crossing

Daisy McLachlan in Depot Road

Daisy McLachlan in Depot Road

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A mother says the lack of a crossing patrol guard is putting children’s lives at risk.

Daisy McLachlan, 35, of Potters Croft, Horsham, told the County Times that the crossing point - near the junction of Ayshe Court Drive and Depot Road - is in a residential area and is well used by Kingslea and Millais pupils.

The pavement on one side is narrow, and school children will often cut across the crossing to get around parents who, like Daisy, are pushing a pram on that pavement.

“We do get a lot of older kids and they will cut around you on the road,” she said.

“Someone is going to get knocked down. I think there would be a fatality here.

“It’s just so short-sighted because someone is going to get hurt here.

“There’s a lot of upset parents.”

Daisy said that there used to be a county council funded crossing guard working there, but she’d had to quit after the council declined to let her work part-time.

Since then, the council has assessed the crossing and announced that it will no longer fund a crossing guard.

This means that any new lollipop man or woman would have to be an unpaid volunteer, or would have to have funding from elsewhere.

An FOI request had revealed that the site had gone for more than ten years without being assessed, Daisy said.

“They’ve been perfectly happy to fund a crossing person on this site without a review for over ten years,” she said, “so I don’t understand how they can suddenly take that away.

“As a parent you want a crossing patrol and a part-time crossing patrol is not ideal but it’s better than nobody.

“It is a cost saving measure - they wanted her to go.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “Since the School Crossing Patrol officer left, we have assessed the site twice according to national guidelines and it no longer meets the criteria for funding.

“That does not mean there can be no patrol. If a volunteer came forward willing to commit to cover all the days needed, then we would train, equip and manage that individual. Or if an alternative source of funding can be found then a patrol could be employed by us.

“Our school travel advisor has contacted Kingslea Primary School to help them produce a Travel Plan, and we will be happy to work with the school in any way to make sure that we do our best to address any concerns.

“If any parent would like to volunteer or assist with the school crossing patrol please contact Louise Bishop on louise.bishop@westsussex.gov.uk or 03302 226744.”

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