When I was young the school run was always a rush for my family, both my sister and I always waited until the last minute to get ready and would fly through the back door for the 10 minute mad rush to school. I can still remember the route we’d take which included two busy roads and multiple side roads through our village. We were always met by a happy lollipop person when we arrived to school who would guild us across the road safely – even though there was a crossing.
Eban’s School Run
The school run with my own child is very different to mine as it involves having to catch a bus as well as crossing three very busy roads; including a dual carriageway.
The journey to school is a long one, as you might expect and crossing the first road on a morning can be a bit of a nightmare – we only have an island to help us and normally end up waiting for a car to let us cross.
Once we get off the bus we are met with a busy dual carriageway, this road leads from the M18 straight to the M1 connecting Rotherham to Sheffield so as you can imagine it gets very busy. We are lucky as on our journey we have an underpass (my son loves going through) so we can cross to the other side safely.
The final main road on our journey is the one that the school is on – as you can imagine it is very busy around school hours and some of it’s users aren’t all that safety conscience when they use it. Across from the school there is a pedestrian crossing but you still have to really keep an eye out for the drivers because they sometimes don’t watch for you.
Nominate Your School For The Churchill Lollipopper Fund
Luckily for us we have a really friendly lady manning this crossing, some days she isn’t there and you really notice as not only do you miss her warm hello and smile but also the fact she will ensure the drivers stop for you. Some schools aren’t as lucky as me though, Lollipoppers are on the decline after UK legislation in 2000 stated that there was no longer a legal requirement for schools to have one.
For this reason I am so happy to support Churchill in their bid to readdress the balance by giving 50 schools the funding they need to have their own Lollipopper with the Churchill Lollipopper Fund.
If you think that your child’s school or your school (if you’re a staff member) could benefit from it’s own Lollipopper then head over to www.churchill.com/lollipoppers where you can nominate them.
Research carried out by Churchill found:
- 95 per cent of parents and 88 per cent of children (aged 5 – 11) feel safer knowing there is a Lollipopper present on their route to school
- 91 per cent of parents see a Lollipopper as being safer than a zebra or pedestrian crossing
“With child pedestrian casualties during the school run still an issue in the UK, we wanted to gather the opinion of both parents and children to investigate what they see as being the safest option. Although no longer a legal requirement for schools, it is great to see that the apparently evergreen Lollipopper is still valued as the safest option for parents and children but concerning that many have noticed their numbers diminishing in recent years.”
Michael Bristow, from road safety charity, Brake, added: “With the highest rates of child pedestrian casualties in the UK occurring during the school run, the provision of a safe road crossing at schools plays a key part in our work. With a decreasing number of lollipop men and women on the roads, the safety and lives of children are being put at risk as other school crossing alternatives don’t offer the same level of vigilance and care.”
I think every child should be given the option to cross the road to their school in complete safety and that Lollipoppers provide a valuable service in keeping them safe. Make sure you nominate your school for the Churchill Lollipopper Fund so we can start bringing back these much needed men and women.
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