Fears over crossing patrol

CONCERNS have been raised about the future of a school crossing patrol in Melbourn.

The crossing patrol officer in charge of the crossing, at the junction of The Moor and High Street, stepped down this term, and due to a change in Cambridgeshire County Council policy, the site will now have to be reassessed before the role is readvertised.

This has led to concerns in the village that the post will not be filled.

Cllr Susan van de Ven, Melbourn’s county councillor, said: “I would be extremely concerned should we lose the crossing. Unaccompanied children walking to school or college will no doubt continue to use the crossing point whether or not there is a school crossing patrol officer, but the blind spot is not going to go away.”

The crossing point is near to both Melbourn Village College and Melbourn Primary School, and Cllr van de Ven believes it is vital that it be reinstated as soon as possible.

She said: “The bend in the High Street at the crossing point can seem ‘slight’ to drivers who therefore don’t necessarily slow down in anticipation of pedestrians crossing the road. It’s a tricky spot from a pedestrian’s point of view, as the bend actually blocks visibility of oncoming traffic from the Cambridge Road direction.

“It is impossible to make a good judgement on whether or not it is safe to cross, unless starting out into the road prepared to abort if necessary; this is obviously not what we want, for children especially.

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“I’ve already emphasised my concerns to the council, and it’s important that we make our point as strongly as possible.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said: “The previous crossing patrol officer left at short-notice, and the position will now be reassessed. This is part of a new council policy which applies to all school crossings in the county, and was brought in due to the effect of recent budget cuts.”

The spokesman added that they were hopeful that the assessment could be carried out before the end of this half-term.