Recruitment campaigns to boost the number lollipop men and women hailed a success

Recruitment drives to encourage the return of the lollipop lady or man to school crossings have been hailed a success by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Some councils are now reporting vacancy levels slashed to less than 5%, the LGA said.

School Crossing Patrol Officers, as they are otherwise known, will be out in force in Norfolk, Sandwell, Thurrock, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, where parents can be happy in the knowledge that their children will be returning to school safely this autumn.

Stockport, Essex, Luton and Peterborough Councils are also reporting staffing levels of 84% or more.

Les Lawrence, chairman of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “The fact that so many positions are now filled is fantastic. Lollipop men and women save lives and are vital to improving road safety. Parents expect their child’s school to have one and councils are doing all they can to encourage local people to this worthwhile profession.”

The shortage in the past has been put down to retirement, shift times, weather and abuse from drivers. A number of councils have already signed up for the Stop Means Stop campaign aimed at educating drivers of the legalities of taking notice of the lollipop sign.

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