Parents and teachers launch crossing campaign

Parents campaigning for crossing patrol on Sheepwalk Lane, Airedale
Parents campaigning for crossing patrol on Sheepwalk Lane, Airedale

Parents and headteachers at four of the district’s schools are calling for safety measurements on a “dangerous” road.

Wakefield Council cut funding for the ‘lollipop’ worker across Sheepwalk Lane last year, and the Townville and three Airedale schools who use the road have said they can no longer afford a replacement.

The schools have even launched a campaign group, the Sheepwalk Lane Crossing Action Group, with a petition that has been signed by more than 300 people so far.

They are now canvassing Wakefield Council for a permanent crossing.

Elizabeth Fairhurst, principal of Airedale Academy said: “Instead of spending the money on books, resources, maintaining our school buildings or educational experiences for our children, last March all four schools agreed to fund the crossing patrol for a year, to give Wakefield Council time to install a permanent crossing.

“However, the council hasn’t made any progress in putting in a crossing, although they were able to fund one at Fryston Road.

“Once again we are in a position where, from April 1, we are being expected to fund the school crossing patrol at the Sheepwalk Lane junction.

“This time we cannot afford to step in - with the cuts to school funding, we need what money we have to put teachers in front of children, to provide books, classroom assistants and to repair and maintain the buildings.”

But parents feel funding a crossing patrol worker is a more feasible solution, costing around £4,000 a year.

Parent Lynsey Clark, who has a son who attends Airedale Academy, said: “The council won’t put in a crossing because the junction is on a bend, it’s not safe and would not be sensible.

“The school has said they can’t afford it so something needs to happen, it’s constant traffic along there and it’s dangerous, there’s just no let up.

“We’re hoping to have a meeting with the schools about it, it’s a lot of money but if they can work with us, we can do it. We can only try, it needs doing.”

Meanwhile, Wakefield Council has said it is considering “in detail” the requests.