A GREENFIELD school set to more than double in size by 2024 is considering re-instating a crossing patrol axed as a cost cutting measure to help with increased traffic issues.
Ageing Greenfield Primary School and Nursery on Shaw Street is set to be demolished and a new two-form entry primary school erected on the existing playing fields.
A changing block and replacement field will be provided on the site of the current building. The proposals are due before Saddleworth Parish Council Planning Committee on May 9 then Oldham Planning Committee on June 15.
The school currently caters for around 200 pupils with 35 staff but A 60-page document, one of 37 submitted in support of the plans, details figures of 420 pupils and 70 staff by 2023/24.
Local residents are supportive of the need for a new school but fearful increased pupil numbers will exacerbate current parking problems.
They also question the need for local authority cash to be spent on the project with central funding expected to be available as the Government presses ahead to turn all schools in England into Academies.
Headteacher Mike Wood, instrumental in organising a ‘Park and Stride’ scheme for parents and pupils from Tesco’s store, admitted to superstore chiefs in December 2015: “Parking at school is already difficult.”
‘Park and Stride’ came into operation after the Easter holidays but it isn’t clear how many spaces have been made available.
In addition, the report from consultants, Mouchel, who undertook a traffic survey in October 2014, states that extra provision is needed for pedestrians.
It says: “It is recommended that either the reinstatement of the school crossing patrol or a controlled pedestrian crossing on A669 Chew Valley Road is considered to support the ambition of increased walking an anticipated increase in pedestrian demand.”
Oldham Council have confirmed any cross patrol reinstatement will need to be funded by the School.
Lesley Shaw, the subject of an ultimately unsuccessful local campaign to save her job in 2013, says she’s ready to pick-up her lollipop stick again if needed.
But the mum of two, 63, admitted: “It’s quite comical. How are they going to fund it this time time if they couldn’t fund it before?
“I would love my job back,” added Lesley. “Even now I have an incredible urge to get in the road and stop traffic. It is a nightmare and only getting worse.
“As for ‘Park and Stride, people can’t even walk from Carr Lane to school. And are they going to walk when it is lashing down with rain or snowing?
Local campaigner Mike Rooke said: “It is proposed to build this school at the end of a short cul-de-sac, when access via adjacent unadopted and unsurfaced roads will cause chaos and disruption increasing the health and safety risks for both children and adults walking to and from school.
“There has been no attempt to address the concerns of local residents who will have to suffer the consequences of increased traffic over unsurfaced roads, a problem that has already been exacerbated by an increase of pupils in the school in the past two years.
“The borough’s Traffic Plan is flawed as it does not take account of the fact that the vast majority of the new intake will be coming from outside Greenfield and thus more likely to travel by car.”