(Title Image: Southern Daily Echo)
The last review of school crossing patrols took place during 2015-16 intending to save, at the time, £60,000. Back then there were 24 school crossing patrol officers (aka. lollipop men/women) but that’s since been reduced to 17.
At this week’s Bridgend Council Cabinet meeting, members will be asked to approve a new methodology for any future assessment of school crossings (pdf).
When reviewing a crossing, authorities use a formula where they times the average number of pedestrians (P) by the square of the average number of cars (V²) during a half-hour peak period (PV²). If the site’s PV² value exceeds a certain number, then a crossing patrol is justified.
At the time of the last review, the number of pedestrians would include everyone using the crossing. Under the revised guidelines, however, it’ll only count children using a crossing – which will no doubt result in more staffed crossings being deemed unviable should such a review take place.
The report does say that if a crossing doesn’t meet the required standard it doesn’t automatically mean a patrol will be withdrawn, but “other ways of funding” a patrol could be sought – including schools or community councils funding them themselves (effectively a form of Community Asset Transfer).
The aim is for BCBC to save £10,000 from school crossing patrol service in the 2020-21 budget and the service is currently set to report a £9,000 overspend.