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Pupils ‘in danger’ due to lack of crossing patrol

‘PRIMARY school pupils are in danger unless a school crossing patrol is put in place’ on a busy area of Omagh, claims a local councillor. 
 
Concerns have been raised about the safety of pupils of Christ the King Primary School as they are being forced to cross the Strathroy Road without supervision or assistance. 
 
The crossing was previously controlled by a lollipop lady, but the post has been vacant since before Christmas due to retirement. The post has been advertised but the position has not yet been filled by the Education Authority (EA). 
 
Raising the issue at Tuesday night’s Fermanagh and Omagh District Council meeting, Cllr Barry McElduff said a school crossing patrol must be re-established as soon as possible, adding that physical crossing is also needed. 
 
 Cllr McElduff said, “The urgency for the replacement is emphasised by the fact that the volume and speed of traffic on the Strathroy Road has greatly increased because of the opening of the Strathroy Link Road. This is one of the busiest places in Omagh, and at this time, there is an urgent need for a school crossing patrol. 
 
“There is hundreds of pupils coming down through the grounds of the chapel and turning right towards large residential areas. 
 
“At this point of time it is unsupervised and it is dangerous. We are trying to get a school crossing patrol re-established and secondly, a physical crossing is needed too.”
 
On Monday, Cllr McElduff and Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald attended an ‘impromptu meeting with local community and school leaders’ to discuss the dangers.
 
Cllr McElduff said “We have embarked on a series of lobbying. We are asking the EA to provide an immediate interim solution to the crossing. 
 
“We are also lobbying DFI roads and the EA as this crossing is directly relevant to the Strule Campus, so if there is any capital money in the system, it would be beneficial to have a physical crossing put in place sooner rather than later.”
 
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