Fears have been raised over proposed cuts to school crossing patrols across the county. 

School crossing patrols across Hampshire could be axed as part of a budget proposal which aims to save £1.1m. 

In the Romsey area, Cupernham and Romsey Primary Schools no longer have patrols.

In North Baddesley, they operate a patrol at the junction of Rownhams Road and Fleming Avenue. 

The lollipop lady told the Advertiser she was unaware of the proposals. The woman, who declined to give her name, said that she has been a lollipop lady for 36 years. She added: “The best part about it is seeing the children grow up.”

Cllr Geoff Cooper, who represents the North Baddesley ward, said: “They are incredibly important. As a parent and a councillor, I would oppose any cuts that would lead to removing school traffic patrols. 

READ MORE: Winchester parents fear cuts to school crossing patrols

“However, the county council needs to make cuts of £132m. We need to be getting angry at central government. Traffic patrol officers encourage people to walk to school which reduces congestion and improves fitness. 

“Some people do it voluntarily, but we need to pay people for their time.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Rownhams Road

Cllr Nick Adams-King, represents Romsey Rural on Hampshire County Council, said: "Hampshire County Council is looking at our non-statutory services due to the pressure on our budget caused by the legal obligation we have to carry out certain functions. We cannot say ’no’ if someone asks for support (for example with social care costs for older people and vulnerable children and support for those with disabilities). It’s entirely right we provide these services free of charge for those who need them, the consequence though is a cost that is only limited by the number of people requiring support. 

SEE ALSO: Hampshire County Council's bid to cut school crossing patrols

“HCC does not have a legal duty to provide school crossing patrols. We do have a legal duty to ensure children can travel to school safely. Before considering any reduction in the services we will therefore be carrying out a thorough review of every crossing patrol location. This may mean we investigate whether putting a permanent safe crossings in place is possible or preferable, or whether the continuation of the school crossing in that location is the most efficient way of continuing to undertake our duty to the county’s school pupils. 

“As you have identified there are many locations where it has proven very difficult to recruit to vacant crossing patrol positions, they will also form part of our review. If anyone is interested in helping fill those vacancies then we would love to hear from you. Just search ’school crossing patrol jobs’ on the HCC website.”

The proposal is part of Hampshire County Council’s bid to reduce its expenses over the next few years and close the £132m financial gap in its 2025/26 budget.

With no expected forthcoming government financial support, the council has consulted on multiple proposals that could save £90.4m. 

However, the authority has warned these cuts may not go far enough - and said more will be needed. 

As a result, the council is considering reducing or finishing most non-statutory services in the county, including school crossing patrols. 

If its plans are approved, Hampshire County Council says it will assess each school’s situation and find an alternative where possible.