A SCHOOL lollipop man will remain in place for the ‘time being’, after BCP Council backtracked on its decision to immediately remove the service.

However, parents and teachers are still angry as officials have confirmed the patrol will still be discontinued when a permanent crossing is put in place.

Last week the council informed Longfleet Primary School in Poole that the road crossing guard or ‘lollipop’ service in Garland Road would be discontinued with no replacement service mentioned.

A zebra crossing is planned to be built in the road for summer 2022, which would have left the crossing unmanned for the rest of the academic year.

Longfleet headteacher Nigel Helm told the Daily Echo that he was “staggered” by the decision. 

Bournemouth Echo: Nigel Helm, Headteacher at Longfleet Primary School in PooleNigel Helm, Headteacher at Longfleet Primary School in Poole

He said: “We really are staggered, particularly in light of the fact that BCP Council has spent a considerable amount of money on their sustainable traffic management scheme in recent months in an attempt to encourage children to walk or cycle to school.

“We had a long-standing lollipop lady who retired to ill health and since then, we’ve had a replacement lollipop man who covers Garland Road. I couldn’t believe the email we received saying they would stop providing the service. It meant that, as of Monday, there would be nobody to man the road.

“Garland Road is extremely busy. It acts as a through road to Poole Hospital and our current lollipop man told me that it is the most dangerous crossing he has to cover in the area.”

Mr Helm gave thanks to ward councillor Andy Hadley who he says worked “tirelessly” to keep the lollipop man on site.

Cllr Hadley said: “I only found this out on Thursday and thought it was outrageous. It’s all about child safety for me and I think the general principle is that lollipop services are being phased out in favour of zebra crossings.”

The councillor made inquiries and was able to secure the current lollipop man on site for “the time being”. It is not yet clear how long the lollipop man will remain at his post.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “We have confirmed that the patroller will stay in place until such time a suitable permanent crossing can be installed, currently programmed for summer 2022/2023.”

Mother of two Camilla Collins said that she was “dismayed” that the service was nearly withdrawn “without any notice”.

She said: “I kindly request that someone from BCP traffic management come and experience how busy and dangerous this road is – particularly at school drop off and pick up times.”