Communities across Perth and Kinross are pleading with the council to reverse school crossing patroller cuts which were signed off last month.
The local authority has come under fire for axing lollipop people at schools with zebra or puffin crossings, as well as removing vacancies which have been empty for a year. The decision was taken in a private meeting.
Rattray Primary’s parent council chair Claire Galloway is devastated to see the school’s crossing patroller being removed.
She said: “We’re really anxious and worried for out children’s safety. They’re being put at risk as drivers don’t always take heed of the 20mph limit or red light.
“This is a main thoroughfare with lorries, vans and cars which is only going to get busier. Our crossing patroller is the last line of defence and is a safety barrier for the kids.
“When my daughter found out he wasn’t going to be there to help her across the road, she burst into tears. He keeps them safe and while we can have an influence over how our kids behave – we can’t do that to drivers.”
Stanley Primary is another school set to lose its patroller after the summer holidays.
The village’s community council chair Werner Reiche said: “This is an area which has a history of speeding and with the A9 dualling until 2020, more vehicles will be driving through Stanley to avoid the reduced speed limit.
“Because the school is on the edge of the village, 96% of children attending have to cross that road.
“This is a major route, and we’d like to see the results of a full risk assessment matrix.”
Strathtay Councillor Grant Laing added: “It is ridiculous that the school crossing patroller is to be removed in Stanley. This is a very poor decision which will be detrimental to the community.
“The village will be left with a zebra crossing, which I believe is the most dangerous form of crossing.”
In Kinross, the school’s parent council has contested the council’s view that zebra crossings suffice in the busy town centre.
A spokesperson said: “Despite many responses from elected representatives of all persuasions, Kinross Primary Parent Council are bitterly disappointed that cuts to these services will still be made.
“No consideration to our request for a proper traffic assessment has been provided, nor have our requests for an explanation as to why the meeting was held in private.”
A council spokesperson said: “Before any school crossing patrols are removed schools will ensure pupils are reminded of road safety rules around the proper use of these pedestrian crossings, and will seek to involve parents in these sessions where possible.
“We will also review the road infrastructure around the crossing to see if any other traffic calming measures could help to improve the safety for pedestrians.”