A national survey carried out by Road Safety GB appears to indicate that the outlook for the school crossing patrol (SCP) service across the UK has deteriorated in the past two years.
When the survey was previously conducted in June 2011, 70% of the authorities who responded said they did not expect any significant reduction or change in service provision. When the survey was repeated in November/December 2013, the number of authorities anticipating no significant reduction/change had fallen to 59.6%.
141 local authorities completed the survey. Of the 8,724 patrol sites they manage, there were vacancies at 1,012 (11.6%) of these.
16 authorities (11%) said that part of their SCP service was funded through sponsorship, while six authorities (4%) use volunteers to help deliver the service.
When asked about reduction or change of service, 84 authorities (59.6%) said nothing significant was planned; 31 (22%) said significant change/reduction had already been implemented, and 33 (23%) said a reduction is planned.
Richard Hall, Road Safety GB’s specialist advisor with regard to SCPs, said: “I don’t think the results of this survey will come as a shock to anyone associated with the SCP service.
“It is a concern that more authorities think that significant change and/or reduction in levels of service is more likely now than two years ago.
“It is interesting to see that 16 authorities are now at least part-funding the service via sponsorship. It appears more authorities are now having to look to the private sector to fund what is an extremely popular and valued community service.
“We are very grateful to the 141 authorities who completed the survey – they have provided a valuable insight into the future of the SCP service.”