Worried parents raised the alarm that Arbroath primary schools are no longer attended by a crossing patroller.
Inverbrothock Primary School parents received a text message telling them the school crossing would not be manned from January 21 until further notice.
Nicola Morgan who has a six-year-old child at the school said: “On my son arriving home today (Monday) he informed me there was no lollipop person today after school. I have been in contact with another parent and we were never informed of this. This is a very serious matter if we are not informed and our children are crossing this busy road on their own.”
Parents from Hayshead Primary school are also up in arms about a lack of school patrols having had no cover at the junction of Hayshead Road and Hayswell Road since the start of December.
Frank Reilly, head of facilities management, Tayside Contracts is eager for parents to know they are expending every effort to fill the gap.
“I am a parent too and under the same circumstances I would also be asking the question, however I would like parents to understand the situation. The gentleman who normally covers this patrol (Inverbrothock) is on long term sick leave. In the meantime we have, quite successfully been filling the position on a short term basis. This is not always an attractive offer and it is difficult to get people in.
“This is a great opportunity to ask, is there anyone who would be willing to come on board? We are always on the look out for people to come on to our relief work list. I want to assure parents that although they have primary responsibility for getting children to school, we are not ducking our responsibility.”
Parent Krista Schuler suggested that Hayshead School were not doing enough to support the shortfall. She said: “Hayshead PS has washed their hands of it. In the five weeks that this has been an ongoing concern, the school has only sent out two texts warning parents that the crossing will be unmanned FOR THAT DAY.
“In their defence, the school says that Tayside Contracts have not been communicating the whereabouts of the crossing patrollers so they can’t inform parents if they are not aware of the situation.
“The whole situation is a mess, and an accident waiting to happen.”
The Parent Council at Hayshead Primary School is particularly concerned about the lack of crossing patrol at Hayshead/Hayswell Road because of the lack of traffic calming measures in the area.
A letter sent to Tayside Contracts stated: “I agree that less children probably cross here than at other crossings, but it is imperative that other factors be taken in to account when making a judgement regarding children’s safety. For example, unlike the other crossings, there are no traffic calming measures on this road. No speed bumps, no ‘20’s Plenty’ signs, no Children Crossing signs. In fact, motorists often speed along Hayshead Road because it is so long, wide and straight.”
The Hasyead PS Parent Council are awaiting a response from Taysde Contracts in reply to their anxieties.
A council spokesperson said: “Whilst every effort is made to staff each site, cover cannot be guaranteed as sites can become vacant and often at short notice. Even where a school crossing patrol is provided, parents remain responsible for ensuring their child’s safety on their whole journey to and from school.”