Lollipop person plan for danger junction delayed – because no one wants to do the job

Ashlyns School students cross a dangerous junction in Berkhamsted
Ashlyns School students cross a dangerous junction in Berkhamsted

Plans to make a notoriously dangerous junction safer by recruiting a lollipop person have been delayed – because nobody wants to do the job.

The post was first advertised in January after pressure from parents who thought their children were being put at risk as they walked to Berkhamsted’s Ashlyns School.

They complained that younger children in Years 7 and 8 were now having to negotiate the speedy area where Kingshill Way meets Kings Road and Shootersway.

The new years were added at Ashlyns when it switched from being an upper to a secondary school in September.

A recent crash between a motorbike and a car that left two hospitalised reignited parents’ calls for the junction needs to be made safer.

Catherine Davies, of Kings Road, is mum to twins Amy and Maddie Perry, both 12, who use the junction to get home from Ashlyns School.

Catherine said: “The junction is still clearly an accident waiting to happen – but next time with a school child.”

Herts Highways had aimed to hire a new lollipop person – going against its usual policy of not funding crossing patrols for secondary schools.

It is thought that nobody came forward for the role due to other commitments and because the pay – £6.50 per hour – was not high enough.

Councillor Ian Reay said: “We cannot get anybody to apply, because people in that area do not have the time to do it.

“Nobody seems to be interested in doing this job for a couple of hours each day. I suspect it’s because it’s such an affluent area.”

The lollipop person would have been based in Kingshill Way – even though few houses are on that street when compared with Kings Road, where most children cross.

Just to reach the crossing point children would have to cross Shootersway – where there are no plans for a lollipop person.

Catherine said: “You would need two lollipop ladies. I really did not see the point. I think it would double your chances of being hit.

“If there was a lollipop lady at the one point where people cross, that would be great!”

Herts Highways has put £20,000 into making the junction safer by improving signs, road markings, pavements and drainage, cutting back vegetation and installing flashing lights. Herts Highways officer Martin Sears said people can now choose for themselves the safest place to cross.

The longer-term plan is to install traffic lights at the junction at a cost of £350,000.

It is thought that developer Taylor Wimpey could provide the money in return for building lots of homes nearby.