Irate parents have warned that a child will be killed unless education chiefs take urgent action to provide a safe crossing outside the Courthouse in Armagh.
Parents of children attending the Armstrong Primary School were informed by letter before Hallowe’en that the lollipop patrol man was due to retire.
And, since returning after the half-term break, children have been forced to ‘fend for themselves’!
One angry mum told Armagh I : “This is a bloody disgrace!”
The junction outside the Courthouse is one of the busiest in Armagh city centre with multiple lanes of traffic converging.
And children are disembarking from school buses at the corner of Mall East, across from the Regimental Museum, where they now must make their own way across the road.
Parents have been calling for a replacement lollipop patrol to be put in place immediately.
The mum who contacted us said: “We parents at the Armstrong got notes home before the break telling us that this was happening and that the need for ‘needing’ a new lollipop person was being assessed.
“It is obvious any morning that the need is there.
“Some poor child is going to end up getting killed. Have our local councillors been notified about this farce?
“This needs sorted as soon as possible.”
There is a crossing patrol still operating at the top end of College Hill where there is also a permanent traffic crossing.
No such facility exists for crossing between the Mall and Courthouse, safely to the foot of College Hill.
Another man who contacted us said: “It’s hard to believe there is no lollipop person there – the area is mad with traffic and children of primary school age trying to dodge cars and lorries.
“That is pathetic. We are waiting for the education board to give us answers but they are trying to bury it. If something is not done it’ll be a child they’ll be burying!”
Armagh I contacted the Education Authority immediately after the issue was raised with us before the Hallowe’en holidays seeking an explanation and details of what the future crossing plans – if any – are for the area.
We are still awaiting a response and will bring you the official statement when we have it.