Parents in a Moray town fear the council is “gambling with kids’ lives” by cutting school crossing patrollers across the region.
The popular staff were axed in budget cut this year despite fears the move could cause safety issues for pupils crossing roads to get to class.
Now the parent council at St Gerardine Primary School in Lossiemouth is to try and fight the move to ensure students can continue to walk safely to school.
Talks have been scheduled with families this evening to try and draw up alternatives.
Parent council chairwoman Amanda Nasser fears the crossing used by pupils at the foot of School Brae in the town could be “lethal” without a crossing patroller.
It is understood that lollipop men and women have quit the post themselves in the past amid safety concerns about traffic in the area.
Mrs Nasser said: “I know they are talking about putting in traffic lights there in the future but there is no place for apathy. We have to do all we can.
“I have to look a lot of times before I cross there. What we don’t want to do is wait for something to happen to a child there before tackling it.
“This is something that could take away the independence of our children.
“If it’s not safe enough to walk to school then parents will drive them there, which will cause congestion.”
During budget debates earlier this year, Moray Council explained that the authority had no legal obligation to provide school crossing patrollers – stressing it was the responsibility of parents to get their children to school.
The decision to axe the staff was made as the authority considers the future of almost every service, amid tightening budgets.
Members of the parent council have been distributing leaflets to families helping their children to get to class this week only to discover some remain unaware of February’s decision to axe to patrollers from August this year.
A survey run by Lossiemouth Community Council found that 85% of nearly 500 respondents were willing to stump up cash to fund replacements to the lollipop teams to ensure pupils can continue to be guided across streets.
Lossiemouth Community Council Vice-chairwoman Carolle Ralph insisted that a lot of work was going on behind the scenes to save the vital service.
She said: “The community council is actively in conversation with the roads department and elected members on a proposal to look at ways of protecting the service which will probably use external funding in some way.
“Our intention now is to talk to parent councils across Moray and to representatives from education.
“We are trying to be pro-active and acknowledge that there are very real concerns about this service and are concerned that parents and carers are unaware of the cuts.”
Mrs Nasser stressed this evening’s meeting is solely for parents of children who attend St Gerardine Primary School.
It will take place in the dining room at Lossiemouth Community Centre at 6pm.