Crossing patroller reinstated after petition at Forthill School

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A petition by families at a Broughty primary school against what they have described as an unsafe crossing scheme has seen their preferred model reinstated.

Freda Doig had been a crossing patroller at Balgillo Road and Forthill Road for 25 years when Tayside Contracts informed the families of the 700 pupils at Forthill Primary School that she was to be reassigned.

Parent Angela Lyall started a petition to reverse the decision following concerns over the alternatives presented and by the lack of consultation between parents, Forthill’s headteacher, the parent council and local councillors.

Angela told the Gazette: “Tayside Contracts have stated the crossing over Forthill Road, at the junction with Balgillo Road, is ‘unofficial’ and deemed it unsafe practice, putting both the patroller and the children at risk.

“Regardless of whether the crossing has been unofficial or not, the practice of the patroller crossing over both Forthill Road and Balgillo Road has been ongoing for at least the last 40 years!

“Further to this, it is my understanding there have been no accidents or incidents whereby a child or adult has come to harm as a result of this practice.”

The families were referred to the ‘Safer Routes To School’ website but were unhappy with the alternatives presented.

Angela added: “The site advises children to cross over with the patroller immediately outside the school over Forthill Road, then cross over Fintry Place and Luke Place unassisted. Both of these roads are equally busy and dangerous, especially at 3.15pm, the end of the school day, and it’s my opinion this is simply not a safer route to school!”

“Given the fact that Freda had dedicated over 25 years to this position and now children were being left without assistance to cross, I created a petition to have her returned to the post and reinstate a school crossing patrol on Forthill Road between Luke Place and Balgillo Road.

“Over 430 parents/carers signed the petition and, thankfully, Freda has since been reinstated.”

In addition to presenting the petition to Tayside Contracts it was also submitted to Michael Wood, director of children and families services at Dundee City Council.

It is understood that Tayside Contracts is currently monitoring the area to assess future safe crossing routes.

Dundee City Council is also assessing parking, volume of traffic and footfall to establish a safe crossing point on Forthill Road.

A Dundee City Council spokesman confirmed: “We have requested that a survey is carried out.”

Angela added: “On beh­alf of all the parent­s who signed my petit­ion, I hope this surv­ey confirms that this­ crossing point is fa­r too dangerous for s­chool pupils to cross­ on their own and an ­additional school cro­ssing patrol point is­ merited and establis­hed.”