Rethink on school road safety rules

NO PATROL . . . Dornoch Road in Holytown does not qualify for a school crossing patrol.
NO PATROL . . . Dornoch Road in Holytown does not qualify for a school crossing patrol.

COUNCIL officials have been ordered to look again at rules governing the provision of crossing patrols following requests to introduce them outside three local primary schools.

Headteachers at Holytown Primary School, Lawmuir Primary School in Bellshill and Holy Family Primary School in Mossend have asked North Lanarkshire Council to consider establishing patrols outside their respective schools.

Their requests went before the council’s planning and transportation committee with officials, in all three cases, recommending that the requests be refused because they did meet existing criteria.

But councillors have asked officials to study their rules and consider whether they should be changed for such applications.

In all three cases officials said that the sites in question had been investigated and detailed asssessments carried out of how busy traffic was and how many children crossed the road.

INCREASES

They said sites outside Lawmuir, at Footfield Road and Crofthead Crescent, would require 25 and 22 per cent increases respectively in the number of children using these patrollers before a patroller could be introduced.

On two sites on Dornoch Road, outside Holytown Primary, they said that an increase of at least 50 per cent would be required.

And they said the site on Calder Street outside Holy Family Primary was also visited to assess if exceptional circumstances would allow a crossing patrol to be introduced, but that this was ruled out.

In each case the officials also found that there had been no injury accident involving a pedestrian of primary school age recorded over the past three years.

Mossend and Holytown councillor Paul Delaney said he was unhappy at the number of such requests being turned down and moved that the criteria should be reassessed, a proposal accepted by other committee members.

He said: “I believe that the criteria employed is too strict. Very few of these applications are granted and that is putting children at risk when they are crossing busy roads.

“For instance at Holy Family there is a greater volume of traffic at the moment because of the detours caused by roadworks in Bellshill and factors like this should be taken into account.

“It has proved practically impossible to have a crossing patrol outside a school and it’s time this was looked at.”

WORTHWHILE

Bellshill councillor Harry Curran added: “I am quite happy that, rather than simply reject these requests, we are looking at whether the criteria are satisfactory.

“These locations may not qualify under the current policy but this was drawn up some time ago and circumstances can change so it is certainly worthwhile revisiting it.

“The assessment is currently based on how many children cross the road but perhaps we should be looking more closely at how busy these roads are.”

A report will on the issue will be prepared for a future committee meeting.