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Join The Patrol - Call Up For Crossing Crusaders
Tuesday 25th January, 2005

Join The Patrol - Call Up For Crossing Crusaders
Top Of The (Lolli) Pops: Olive Aird, 59, is proud to look after the busy Holden Road / Wensleydale Road crossing in Leigh. But she wants more community–minded residents to join the service.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to help school kids cross the road in safety!

It’s no mission impossible — but council road safety chiefs are looking for new recruits for the small army of school crossing patrols.

The service, which is paid, escorts thousands of school pupils, and grown ups, across the borough’s busy roads each year.

The number of lollipop patrols has dropped markedly in recent years.

Wigan’s Road Safety Manager Julie Dagnall said:

“Councils do not have to provide crossing patrols but in Wigan we really want to offer the service to all our pupils. However, we cannot do this without the public’s help.”

Julie has seen eight of her patrols either retire or move on in the last few months and no one has come forward to replace them.

Even though it is the parents’, not the council’s, obligation to ensure their children get to school safely, Julie’s team is looking closely at the patrol service to make sure there are lollipop men and women on the streets.

“Some areas are desperately low for patrols,” she said. “We just don’t have anyone spare to cover illness or holidays. Ashton and Orrell are especially in need to cover.”

The Road Safety team is committed to the service and has already appealed to schools for help. There are currently 139 sites, which need a patrol, with only 113 people available for them.

“Please join us if you can,” urged Julie. “We have patrols in their 30’s and in their ’70’s, so it’s open to almost everyone. You’ll be paid and given a uniform and I guarantee a high level of job satisfaction as you become a valued member of the school community and a popular figure for the children.”

People who want more information about how to join the crossing patrol team can call Wigan Council’s Road Safety Team on (01942) 488250.

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