Plea for school crossing patrol to be reinstated

Police at the scene on the Scarva Road in Banbridge after two children were knocked down on Monday afternoon. Pic by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Police at the scene on the Scarva Road in Banbridge after two children were knocked down on Monday afternoon. Pic by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The school crossing patrol on Banbridge’s Scarva Road, which was withdrawn a decade ago, must be reinstated, a local MLA has said.

Upper Bann DUP representative Carla Lockhart made the call following an incident near the old St Mary’s Primary School on Monday (October 17) when two nine-year-old girls were struck by a car.

Just hours after the incident, Ms Lockhart submitted an urgent question to the Minister for Infrastructure, asking his department to assess the road safety issues on Scarva Road and calling for investment in traffic calming measures.

“After learning of the removal of a lollipop person some 10 years ago, I have also asked the Minister of Education to instruct the Education Authority who have responsibility for crossing patrols to investigate the reasons for the removal, an urgent reassessment and a reinstatement,” she said.

Ms Lockhart continued: “This incident serves as a timely reminder to parents and children to make road safety a priority and for drivers to take extra caution during school times, when roads and footpaths are busier.”

Both children injured in Monday’s incident were taken to hospital for treatment.

A spokesperson for the Belfast Trust has described their condition as “stable”.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the two little girls, their families, the school family and the driver of the vehicle,” Ms Lockhart added. “This is a horrific ordeal and we can only imagine the turmoil felt by all involved. I pray that the children will make a full recovery.”