Lollipop patrols to return to school crossings in Barking and Dagenham

Lollipop lady, Bushra Sultana, looks out on a virtually empty Sebert Road. Picture: Jon King

A lollipop patrol scheme is being re-introduced in the borough - Credit: Jon King

Lollipop patrols are set to return to school crossings in Barking and Dagenham as part of efforts to make streets safer for children.

The move to bring back school crossing patrol officers - after being axed in 2017 - was agreed at a council cabinet meeting on Tuesday night (July 12), the town hall said.

A report presented at the meeting by the cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, Cllr Syed Ghani, provided an update on the first phase of the Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) project.

Cllr Ghani said: "It is a difficult area, but we are making improvements with road safety around schools, improving air quality and, importantly, we have listened to our residents and are making changes that mirror their concerns."

By the end of the current CPZ project, the council estimates 47 schools will be covered by restrictions which aim to protect schoolchildren by making it clear where it is safe to park and discouraging the use of vehicles.

A lollipop person scheme is being re-introduced and the council will offer funding to help schools improve safety outside their gates where other restrictions may not be possible.

Cllr Ghani said: "We will continue working to support our residents and have successfully implemented phase one of the CPZ programme in line with our commitment to climate change initiatives.

"The CPZs have provided improved parking and road safety, particularly for our most vulnerable residents.

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"We are moving to the second phase which will see more consultation and engagement, reduced fees for school staff along with many other initiatives."

The town hall will review the current CPZ scheme in 2023.

Cllr Ghani added: "CPZ is not a money-making scheme as all the money generated is ring-fenced to pay for road improvements including repairs to pavements.

"More children across the borough are now walking to school than ever before so we will be introducing more School Street schemes."

The School Streets initiative was introduced at five schools in November 2020 and has since been rolled out at seven others.

It sees a pedestrian and cycle-only zone created around participating schools at drop-off and pick-up times, and looks at other means of reducing rat-running and traffic danger.