Child death fears on school journey

Parents have launched a petition for a lollipop lady or pelican crossing outside Airedale Junior School.'Kacey Tolson with petition
Parents have launched a petition for a lollipop lady or pelican crossing outside Airedale Junior School.'Kacey Tolson with petition
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WORRIED mum Natalie Dunn – whose eight-year-old son narrowly escaped being hit by a car on his walk to school – is calling for road safety measures “before a child is killed”.

The 33-year-old launched a petition urging Wakefield Council to employ a lollipop lady or install a pelican crossing on Fryston Road after her son Russell’s near-miss outside Airedale Junior School last month.

She said: “My son had a lucky escape but something needs to be done before a child is killed.”

The mum claims parents of youngsters at the school have been stepping in as temporary crossing patrollers since a lollipop lady quit her post at the site last September.

The council says it has advertised the vacancy and hopes to fill the role as soon as possible.

But Natalie, of Airedale, said: “Something needs to be done. We’re doing what we can but it’s not safe. We wouldn’t be insured if we got hit by a car.

“Sometimes we’ll be standing there while cars still drive at us, or drive around us. It’s dangerous.

“Last week a parent was nearly hit. We need something in place to make the road safe for our children.”

Natalie presented her 215-signature petition to Airedale councillor Linda Broom last week.

It was supported by staff at the school as well as the Airedale, Ferry Fryston, Fryston and Townville neighbourhood management board.

Natalie’s neighbour Mick Hutchinson, who supported the petition, said: “I don’t mind if it’s a lollipop lady or a pelican crossing, we need something to help children cross the road safely.

“There has been another incident in the past where a child has actually been hit by a car. It’s frightening.

“Something needs to be done before a child is killed or seriously hurt.”

A council spokesman said: “The school crossing patrol service is continually looking for people to cover our sites. We have this particular location advertised on the road safety web page and the school also are trying to recruit.

“This site will be filled as soon as we possibly can, but we do need people to apply.

“Anyone interested can find details of all our current vacancies at www.wakefield.gov.uk or if people would like to further information they can contact Sue Wilson on 01924 306000.”