Demand for crossing patroller after schoolgirl knocked down

The junction where the St Brendan's Primary pupil was knocked down
The junction where the St Brendan's Primary pupil was knocked down

A mum-of-two is demanding North Lanarkshire Council finds a crossing patroller to serve Muirhouse after a schoolgirl was knocked down.

Last Wednesday (September 30) afternoon the P1 pupil was hit by a car as she ran out into Muirhouse Road when leaving St Brendan’s Primary School.

This came just days after dog walker Linda Carson was hit and killed by a vehicle outside nearby Grange Tower.

The ambulance service and police attended the scene of the latest incident, but luckily the car was travelling very slowly so the four-year-old escaped with a bump to her head and a grazed knee. The driver was breathalysed by police, the result was negative and no further action will be taken.

It has since emerged the position of crossing patroller at the junction of Muirhouse Road and Barons Road has been vacant for two years.

It’s covered on an ad-hoc basis, but not considered a priority so when no staff are available pupils from both St Brendan’s and Muirhouse Primaries are left to fend for themselves.

The mother of another P1 pupil at St Brendan’s said: “I am constantly on the phone to the council’s school crossing patrol coordinator asking why there is no patroller at this junction.

“I have been told it is not a priority area, and can only be covered when there is not absence elsewhere, well does this incident now make it a priority?

“We were lucky this time that the car was travelling slowly so there was no serious injury, but that is a busy junction and next time it could be a lot worse.

“I know the council can’t just magic a patroller out of thin air, but they have to make the position more attractive, by whatever means are necessary.

“The council will say it is the parent’s responsibility to get their child to and from school safely, but there are parents who either can’t or won’t escort their children.

“My eldest is in P5 at the moment, I’m lucky he still lets me accompany him to school, with the way kids are I don’t see that lasting much longer.

“This isn’t just an issue that affects St Brendan’s pupils, there is also the children from Muirhouse Primary to think about, and at some point the council really needs to appreciate just how busy Muirhouse Road is.”

The council’s senior officer (school patrol) Finlay Bruce says the vacancy will be readvertised this week.

He said: “The council has been unable to fill the post of school crossing patroller at Muirhouse Road and Barons Road, despite it being formally advertised and a leaflet circulated among parents.

“This job, and a number of other vacant posts, will be re-advertised this Friday.

“In the short-term, a crossing patroller was put in place at Barons Road on Monday.

“This has meant transferring one patroller from the team of two at Shields Road, but I hope this will be temporary measure until the post at Barons Road can be filled.”