A POOLE councillor is up in arms over a decision to replace a lollipop patrol with a zebra crossing – despite concerns from hundreds of residents.

Work is due to take place this week to rip out the existing traffic calming island in Lewesdon Drive, Broadstone - part of the Springdale First School 20mph zone - and install a zebra crossing in its place.

When the scheme was first proposed at the end of June, Cllr Slade set up a petition against the plans. It received over 200 signatures.

However, residents were notified on Friday that a decision had been made to proceed with the plans, with work due to start from Monday.

Cllr Slade said it was “unacceptable” and money was being “wasted on a project residents don’t want”.

“I had a meeting last week with the officers concerned – I explained why it was so ridiculous to spend £30,000 and rip out the existing traffic island.

“I put in a proposal to leave the island where it is and put in a zebra crossing towards the southern end of the road. The road would then have a zebra crossing and an island for a fraction of the cost.”

She said while officers acknowledged the alternative site would be a good place for a crossing, they told her people “wouldn’t change their habits” and use it.

As reported in the Daily Echo last week, six school lollipop patrols in Poole have been replaced with pedestrian crossings in just four years.

However, the council said they did not have a policy of replacing all school crossing patrols.

Cllr Slade said there was “no means of recalling the decision” as it had been made by council officers as opposed to elected members.

“It’s democracy gone mad. This didn’t get proper consultation. The council officers didn’t put out a list of projects they were going to carry out,” she added.

A spokesperson for Borough of Poole said the council had “acted quickly” to ensure the new zebra crossing would be ready for the new school term.

“The school crossing patroller at Lewesdon Drive left the council during the later part of the summer term. In line with RoSPA guidelines, we have reviewed the site and established that investment in a zebra crossing would provide wider benefits to the community.

“The school crossing patrol was only operational for 65 minutes each school day, whereas the zebra crossing will be available at all times of the day, 365 days per year. Lewesdon Drive is part of a 20mph zone. The existing speed cushions in the road will be retained and the new crossing will be raised to encourage slower vehicle speeds. Further to this, the junction next to it will be altered to reduce the speed of any vehicles turning into and out of the section of Lewesdon Drive that leads to the school.”

“In the last three years the Council has invested in zebra or puffin crossings at six sites that previously had school crossing patrols and there have been no reported injury accidents to any pedestrians at any of the locations,” they added.