Puffin crossing finally in place
Pupils can now make their way to school in safety after a puffin crossing was installed outside their school just months after they lost their lollipop lady.
Financial problems has meant Wakefield Council has been forced to axe crossing patrols across the district’s schools.
But Airedale Juniors has seen the new crossing built on busy Fryston Road, which runs past their site.
Business manager at the school, Mandy Mattison said: “We are so pleased on behalf of our children and parents following the installation of the puffin crossing on Fryston Road outside the gates to the school.
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“After the loss of our local crossing patrol in October last year, the road has been a constant concern to school and parents alike as the road is so busy for young children to navigate and cross safely.
“The crossing has made it much safer for all the children who attend not only Airedale Junior School but Airedale Infant and Townville Infant School.
“Parents have expressed how pleased they are with the crossing now they are able to relax as their children are able to cross this busy road safely.
“Members of the public have also expressed how happy they are now they are also able to cross the busy road in a safe place. The crossing is now an asset for the whole local community.”
Les Shaw, cabinet member for corporate services on Wakefield Council, added: “It’s been coming for quite a while, the council looked at it a few times now but we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to deliver it.
“It’s important to do that, money is tight but we’re looking at each ward and the priorities for them, and this is one of the ones that kept coming up.
“It’s timely because of the cuts to crossing patrols but this was not one of the prime reasons, it was talked about a long time before.”
Costing £200,000 a year, Wakefield Council said the cuts to crossing patrols were vital to help cut £146 million from its budget.
Some schools, including nearby Airedale Academy, opted to pay for their own patrols for the next financial year, saying safety was paramount.