SIX school lollipop patrols in Poole have been replaced with pedestrian crossings in just four years - with a seventh set for replacement over the summer break.

Borough of Poole (BOP) confirmed the numbers, amid suggestions from concerned parents that a council policy of phasing out lollipop men and women has been operating across town.

Nick Phillips, accessibility team leader at BOP, said: "The council does not have a policy of replacing all school crossing patrols with pedestrian crossings.

"However, in line with Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents guidelines, we will continue to review each location on a site-by-site basis as school crossing patrollers leave or retire."

Last month dozens of concerned parents and pupils gathered outside Canford Heath Infant School and Canford Heath Junior School, to urge council officials to abandon plans to replace the school's retiring lollipop lady with a zebra crossing.

Executive head teacher Kate Carter said: "We absolutely do not agree that the replacement of a lollipop lady with a zebra crossing is a safer and more reliable road crossing option.

"Cllr Sandra Moore, who is one of our trustees, and myself, have both tried in vain to reason with the council to rethink this decision in the interests of all our children's safety."

However, the lollipop lady, covering Learoyd Road, has become the latest in a line of lost school crossing patrols - a pedestrian crossing will be constructed on site in time for next term.

Other lollipop patrols lost in Poole include Ashmore Avenue, April 2017; Fernside Road, September 2016; Osborne Road, May 2016; Adastral Road, September 2014; Dorchester Road, August 2014; and Yarmouth Road, November 2013.

Mr Phillips said: "School crossing patrollers are only on site for relatively short periods of time before and after the school closes.

"The replacement zebra and puffin crossings are available 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year and therefore provide a considerable benefit to the community as a whole.

"They provide a safe place to cross not just for parents and their children but for all users - including elderly residents or those with disabilities - at all times.

"Our records show that there have been no injury accidents to pedestrians at any of the locations since they have been upgraded."