Hart steps up campaign for patrol crossing

David Simpson MP, Lord Mayor Darryn Causby, Councillor David Jones, parents and children blocked Charles Street outside the Hart Memorial this week as part of their campaign for a school patrol crossing officer.
David Simpson MP, Lord Mayor Darryn Causby, Councillor David Jones, parents and children blocked Charles Street outside the Hart Memorial this week as part of their campaign for a school patrol crossing officer.
  • Hundreds sign safety petition
  • Widespread political support
  • Parents out in force to back bid

A determined campaign is under way to have a school patrol crossing restored to the Hart Memorial Primary School.

Worried mother Lindsay Buckley, whose children Sam and Bobby attend the school, said, “Three patrols operated near the school until it was removed five or six years ago – one outside the front gates, one at the West Street roundabout and the third in the Rectory Park direction.

They were all taken away at one fell swoop

Lindsay Buckley

“They were all taken away at one fell swoop. If three were thought necessary before that, surely they must restore at least one as soon as possible.”

Wendy Mullen – with children Zach and Codi at the Hart – said, “The decisions were based on traffic density at the time. We contend they were wrong, and anyway, there is much more traffic now. There have been near misses, and with parents driving their children to school, the pupils often have to cross the road between parked vehicles. We must have the service restored before a child is killed or seriously injured.”

Lynne Berry and Jacki Donnelly claimed that more and more lorries use the route and insisted that no school in the primary sector should be without a school crossing patrol. “When you see high schools having the service, it’s crazy that the primary sector is picked out,” they agreed.

Lord Mayor Darryn Causby and MP David Simpson are meeting with officers of the new Education Authority in a bid to have the service restored. And they are backing a petition to that effect.

Said Mr Causby, “We believe that the Hart is the only primary school in the town that doesn’t have a patrol officer – in fact, if any others don’t have one they should get in touch with us right away and we’ll campaign for them, too.”

Mr Simpson commented, “The school has a compulsive argument why the service must be restored. It must be underlined that it was the Southern Education and Library Board that removed the service – nothing to do with the school. Here’s hoping the new authority will show more commonsense. Over 500 have signed the petition and we won’t be ignored this time.”

Councillor David Jones said, “No primary school should have to put up with this. It’s based on bureaucracy, not reality.”