Children at risk due to absence of lollipop patrol

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Parents and local politicians have voiced concern for pupils’ safety because of the busy junction at Dickson Primary School.

Local councillor, Carla Lockhart, promised she would fight for the provision of a lollipop person after launching an online petition to combat the danger currently posed by traffic to children walking to school.

Parents say that the junction at the Mourne Road and Pollock Drive is extremely busy with traffic and unsafe without a patrol.

“I had a nightmare trying to bring a four-year-old and five-year-old with bikes across the road on Friday,” explained local mum, Sonya Blair.

“Between people not knowing how to use the mini roundabout - you’re watching traffic coming from four directions and parked cars that you have to try to see around; a child is going to be knocked down some day.”

An Education Authority spokesman said:

“All school crossing patrols are provided on a discretionary basis and are dependent on an assessment of the location in accordance with national guidelines. After conducting a full assessment in relation to the request for a school crossing patrol at Dickson Primary School, the Authority can confirm that the location does not meet the necessary criteria for the establishment of a School Crossing Patrol. We would urge all parents to continue to exercise great caution to ensure the safety of children on their journeys to and from school.”

Carla Lockhart, who has begun a door-to-door collection of signatures, explained: “I have been pushing for this provision for some time to no avail with the Board. They have confirmed that it does not meet the criteria, therefore I am taking it to the people of Mourneview and asking for their support in trying to get this reinstated. I have been overwhelmed by the number of signatures thus far and am asking all to embark on this journey with us and we will try to achieve a positive outcome.”

Dickson Primary School were unavailable for comment at the time of publishing.