Small update 25/8/12
After asking a few questions, we have been informed that there will be no change at the start of the new term and that Fran will still be able to use here lollipop! Obviously we don’t have all the details but this is a peculiar situation with little in the way of consultation having taken place.
The county councillors have also been contacted and asked:
Residents are shocked and concerned for the future safety of their children by a sudden move by Surrey County Council. David Faulkner has been in touch to make everyone aware of just how much upset this will cause.
Fran Hall, long time lollipop lady at the Garibaldi traffic lights junction is be releived of her lollipop and instructed not to venture into the road with the children. David sent us this article –
On our children’s first day at Knaphill School, the lollipop lady asked them their names. We introduced ourselves, too.
“And what’s your name?” we enquired.
“I’m Fran,” she said.
So we were to join the thousands (no exaggeration) of Knaphillians who have been escorted across the Garibaldi junction at school time. We were to learn, like all our predecessors, that Fran would know the names of every child who crossed there, and address them all personally as they did so.
Fran Hall is a Knaphill institution. There are parents who bring their children to school whom Fran escorted and protected when they were children. When someone in the village dies, Fran can recount their children’s names.
So why would the county council now tell her that from September she can no longer use her ‘lollipop’ and only press the button? Even when the green man shows, she will not be allowed to step into the road, because she will not be insured if a car hits her.
I can’t avoid thinking that this is the thin end of the wedge. The traffic lights have been at the junction of the High Street and Chobham Road for sixteen years. When they were put in, Fran’s position was reviewed. She was deemed too valuable to be made redundant.
I can’t see that anything has changed, except the possibility that Fran may be being lined up as the next victim of spending cuts.
What has changed is increased traffic. And what doesn’t change is the number of motorists who jump the red. Just installing an infra-red sensor won’t alter that.
Along with many other parents, I am therefore concerned that the safety of our children is under question if the school crossing patrol is either withdrawn or her powers reduced.
Remember: keeping Fran means keeping our children safe.
Questions have immediately been raised as to why this has happened at this time when the traffic lights have been in operation for many years. So what is going on at SCC and why has this happened? As David mentions on the campaign website – contact the councillors and SCC to get the answers and hopefully have the lollipop back in action.