‘Extreme caution’ urged in Sunnylands after school patrol reduction

John Stewart MLA at Sunnylands Primary School.
John Stewart MLA at Sunnylands Primary School.

East Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA John Stewart is urging motorists to drive with “extreme care” on the approach to Sunnylands Primary School in Carrick due to a reduction in patrol crossing staff.

Mr. Stewart met with the principal of Sunnylands Primary and representatives from Roads Service on Monday to request traffic control measures at the school.

He explained that the need for new measures follows an “alarming decision” taken by the Education Authority’s to reduce the school’s road crossing patrol staff to one.

Mr. Stewart said: “This will cause difficulties for the many parents and pupils who rely on this assistance getting to and from the school each day.

“I have already written to the Education Authority to register my concerns and have asked them to review their decision taken at the end of last year.

“In the meantime, I have made the request to Roads Service to consider additional signage/road markings in the area and also look at the possibility of a crossing being installed from Sunnylands’ shops to the school main entrance.”

A spokesperson for the Education Authority said: “The safety of pupils is paramount to the Education Authority, however the primary responsibility for ensuring children get to and from school safely rests with parents. All school crossing patrols are provided on a discretionary basis and are dependent on an assessment of the location, in accordance with national guidelines.

“Following the retirement of one of the school crossing Patrols at this location, EA completed an assessment of this location and has concluded that it does not require the ongoing provision of a second school crossing patrol, however, the remaining school crossing patrol will continue to operate as normal at the location.”