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School Crossing Patrol service resumes

As more children return to Wirral schools, the council’s Road Safety Team have been working closely with schools to assist them with their plans for reopening, including the return of the School Crossing Patrol service.

School Crossing Patrol (SCP) staff are important members of the community and play a crucial role in ensuring that children get to school as safely as possible and introduce them to the importance of road safety.

Whilst a lot of the road safety messages remain the same, as traffic increases and lockdown eases it is now so important that we remember the basics.

Cllr Liz Grey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, says: “As lockdown starts to ease and we begin to travel more, including the journey to school, it is so important that we stay alert on our roads.

“I am really pleased that School Crossing Patrols will be able to support schools as they reopen to help protect the safety of children and their parents travelling to the site.

“Over the last couple of months, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of people taking up walking and cycling, which I have been really pleased to see. As roads become busier and to enable journeys by foot and bike to continue safely, it’s so important that we all take extra care on our roads.

“I urge all residents to remind themselves and their children of the road safety messages as they prepare for the walk, cycle and the journey to school.”

To help make sure that you and your family are ready for the walk, cycle, or car ride to school, read our latest advice for a safe journey:

  • Crossing the road

Until children are approximately 10 years old, they can often struggle to judge speed and distance, so it is important that we teach them to use crossing points and school crossing patrols where they are available.

  • Maintain social distancing

Please remember that the governments guidelines on social distancing are still in place and need to be followed.

This means that you need to stay 2 metres or 6 feet apart from those outside of your household - that’s about as long as a School Crossing Patrol’s lollipop pole!

  • Got all the gear

Even if your ride to school is just around the block, you and your child should wear a helmet and have a bell, reflectors and lights on your bike.

If taking the journey in a car, any children under 135cm in height or 12 years of age will need the correct car seat for their height and weight.

  • Plan out the route

Whether using on-road or off-road routes, Wirral has a variety of cycling routes to get around the borough and to school. You can start planning your route by using the Visit Wirral Cycle Map.

  • Get advice

Websites such as Living Streets provide advice including how to ‘walk the right way’ during this time. They also have some games to make the journey interesting for little ones, such as scavenger hunts or counting NHS/Key worker rainbows displayed in our local communities to help make the walk to school more fun.

If you are planning for a bike ride to school, Cycling UK provide advice on their website to support safe cycling within the current restrictions.

  • Take Extra Care

The council recognises Road Safety GB’s latest campaign, ‘Take Extra Care’ on how residents can stay safer whilst out and about and reminds road users to be more considerate of others as traffic starts to build up again now lockdown is easing.

Please note that you may see a new face at your crossing as some of our SCP locations are temporarily being covered by staff from other teams including our partner NSL. This is only while some of our SCP are shielding at home and they will be back as soon as they can.

If you would be interested in joining the School Crossing Patrol, the Road Safety Team would like to hear from you. We have a number of permanent salaried positions available that require about an hour each morning and afternoon, to help keep children safe as they arrive and leave school. To register your interest, please contact roadsafety@wirral.gov.uk or call Kathy on 07712133719 or Margaret on 07712133720.

Please remember that you need to keep 2 metres (6 feet) apart from others as well as your SCP.

The Road Safety Team and School Crossing Patrol officers have reviewed each site in respect of COVID-19. A review of the service and risk assessments will take place weekly, and updated as necessary, by the road safety team.