Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Children's lives are at risk: headmaster

Sullivan Upper School has been unable to appoint a local lollypop man/woman despite three recruitment drives by the South Eastern Education and Library Board

A North Down headmaster has said that children's lives are at risk by the ongoing absence of a lollypop man/woman at the school.

John Stevenson, headmaster at Sullivan Upper School in the North Down town, voiced his concerns after it was revealed that the South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) has been unable to appoint a local lollypop man/woman to patrol outside his school.

Figures released to The CT by the SEELB revealed that despite three recruitment drives for the Belfast Road site since 2002, not one single applicant came forward.

Mr Stevenson said: “I am very worried about Sullivan kids crossing the Belfast Road. That is my main concern.”

Mr Stevenson expressed concern at the current level of traffic which passes his school.

He claims this is likely to get worse with the opening of the new IKEA store in December and the beginning of work at the nearby Titanic Quarter over the next few years.

“Crossing the Belfast Road is already a problem. If this increase is to continue then I would continue to be very concerned,” he said.

“If you're coming into Holywood from Belfast you have to cut across the carriageway and although they have increased the size of the slip road it is already full at times in the mornings.

“Progress is a good thing but we need to plan things better to ensure that we don't have additional road safety hazards.

“We welcome progress and job opportunities, but common sense with regard to any implications during such progress is very important.

“The day when the local wee man or woman who did this for little money or out of the goodness of their heart to make sure that the kids are safe¿.we just don't seem to have the community spirit anymore and that's very sad.”

North Down councillor Diana Peacocke commented: “First of all I think it is vital that a lollipop individual is found and put in place at Sullivan — a potentially very dangerous road usually lined with heavy traffic and thus a threat to young pedestrians at the best of times.

“With the massive amount of new activity likely to increase traffic levels in the area — the situation is now serious.

“It is a sad indictment of our society that no-one has answered calls for the post.

“However I would appeal directly once again to the public to assist and come forward if they feel they could fill the position. Holywood has always been a close knit environment with great community awareness and I feel sure that once the problem is highlighted again someone will come forward.”

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