Parents preparing their children to return to school will be delighted after Sutton Council confirmed a temporary lollipop lady post will continue at a controversial new road layout.
The Heart of Hackbridge project has drawn strong criticism since its construction at the beginning of the summer, and after complaints from parents at Hackbridge School, Sutton Council offered to hire a temporary lollipop lady until July.
Continued campaigning has resulted in the continuation of the post on September 3 when school term begins, though the position will only be filled until half term at the end of October.
At the centre of the fight has been mother of three Tracey Collins, who has collected more than 500 signatures on a petition to hire a lollipop lady permanently
Ms Collins, 41, who lives in Hackbridge, said: "My children and other people’s children have to cross that road every day to go into school, and lollipop lady is essential to keep them safe.
"The new layout relies on confusing people to make them slow down, I cannot see the logic in that personally.
At the centre of the controversy is a roundle, described as a roundabout but without any of the markings, as well as six courtesy crossings, where pedestrians are expected to make eye-contact with drivers to ensure it is safe to cross
A Sutton Council spokesman said: "The council decided to put a temporary school crossing patrol officer in place in June to assist the school while work was going on. Up until then, like the majority of schools in the borough, the crossing did not have a full-time officer for Hackbridge School.
"Everyone knew this would only be a temporary arrangement and the extension of this goodwill gesture is for the new school term is simply to enable parents, children and road users to get used to the new arrangements. We have to meet national standards for deciding where we place school crossing patrol officers and have to be fair to all schools in our borough.
"The new road scheme – which is still not finished - has already perceptibly reduced traffic speed and we remain confident it will make the area safer. The scheme passed a series of safety audits during its development including an assessment by safety experts at Transport for London.
"In line with standard practice, further safety audits will be carried out over the next few weeks and results will be made publicly available. The council will review the results of the safety audits and make recommendations accordingly."