New lollipop crossing for children at Ely schools- thanks to the Standard

A NEW lollipop crossing patrol has been set up outside two Ely schools - thanks to the Ely Standard and a campaign spearheaded by councillor Elaine Griffin-Singh.

In October of last year, Cllr Griffin Singh told our newspaper that the job of manning the patrol outside Spring Meadow and St Marys School had been vacant for around TWO years.

Within days of our paper hitting the streets, four people had applied for the job, and this week children were able to use the crossing during the morning rush hour, under the watchful eye of new patrol officer Martin Skipper.

Martin, 53, said this week: “I applied for the job after seeing the story in the Ely Standard. All the mums were really pleased to see me at the crossing this week, and I am really enjoying it.”

Cllr Griffin-Singh, a member of the City of Ely Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “This is a victory for people power, doing what it can do. I am really pleased that at long last we have got someone in the job; helping to keep the children safe. Once we let people know that this job was up for grabs, several people applied.”

At the moment, the crossing is only manned in the mornings - but if a sponsor came forward with �2,000 , then the crossing could be extended to cover the afternoons.

Andy Swallow, Cambridgeshire County Council’s school crossing patrol manager, said: “If a company wanted to sponsor the patrol in the afternoons, they could have their logo put on the back of the patrol officer’s fluorescent coat to show their support.

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“We are delighted that the new crossing officer has started work at High Barns, after a long recruitment process.”

Cllr Griffin Singh, whose campaign was supported by a school safety group, said: “It is not an ideal situation that the crossing only operates in the mornings but it only satisfies the traffic criteria for staffing a crossing at that time of day.”

She is hoping a zebra crossing may be set up at the site in the future. “Through the county council, the City of Ely Council will apply for a grant for a minor highways improvement scheme. We will put in a bid for funding, a maximum of �10,000 is available, and the City Council could bid for another �1,000.”

* There is currently a campaign to get a zebra crossing set up for schools in Downham Road at Ely. To get a school crossing patrol there, commercial sponsorship of �5,000 for the first year and �4,000 for subsequent years could get the crossing established.

INFO: For more information about sponsoring a crossing, contact Mr Swallow on 01223 699 959.