Committee backs cuts to Norfolk school crossing services

No Caption ABCDE PPP-150112-115259001
No Caption ABCDE PPP-150112-115259001

Dozens of school crossing patrols across Norfolk look set to be axed after a council committee voted to scrap the service where sites no longer meet national criteria.

County council officials claim that the service needs to be reformed in order to reduce costs.

And members of the authority’s children’s services committee voted to continue the provision only where sites meet national guidelines at a meeting in Norwich today.

Committee members were presented with five options, ranging from keeping the service as it is to scrapping it altogether.

A report published ahead of the meeting said the option chosen would cost around £180,000 to implement for the sites that meet the guidelines.

A review will now take place to determine which of the near 100 locations which currently have crossing patrols in the county should retain them.

Officials say around 40 of the current sites no longer meet the guidelines.

And the assessment will take the allocation of funding for local safety schemes approved by a meeting of the environment, development and transport committee last Friday into account.

Children’s services committee chairman James Joyce said: “Committee members agreed today to option three which is to continue the school crossing patrol service for sites in the county which still meet the criteria laid down in national guidance.

“The criteria are based on a number of factors including numbers of school children crossing at the site, number and type of vehicles passing through the site, width of the road and visibility and other road safety measures.

“It was agreed that a small team of councillors will now work together with officers to review all current sites to determine whether they do still meet the criteria.

“Once the review has been carried out, the recommendations on what sites to keep and which to withdraw will be presented to the Children’s Services Committee for agreement.”

He added: “School crossing patrols can provide a valuable service in Norfolk but in the right locations. But it is also important to highlight the role and responsibility of parents as well as the community as a whole to ensure children get to school safely.”