A ROAD safety campaigner and mother-of-five is backing the Echo’s campaign to save our lollipop men and women from the axe, claiming County Hall is playing games with children’s lives.

Sarah Steel, 35, of Somercotes, Laindon, won a three-year campaign in December to get Essex County Council to build a Puffin crossing outside Janet Duke Primary School, Laindon.

The council’s local highways panel won £150,000 towards the new crossing after complaints the road was a “death trap”.

However Ms Steel says after her success, the county council has taken one step forward and three steps back with its plan to scrap 55 school crossing patrols countywide.

Ms Steel, whose boys Charlie, four, and Phillip, eight, both go to Janet Duke Primary, said: “I wouldn’t dare let my children walk to school on their own the way the roads are.

“The council is playing with fire if it does this. Doing this is dangerous. We all know some children do run out in the road and its worse when there are loads of cars parked everywhere outside a school.

“It’s absolute madness to put children’s lives at risk like this.”

Ms Steel said cutting the service would mean children would be “dicing with death”, as speeding cars and vehicles parking illegally outside schools were a common problem.

She added: “We have a lollipop man, and he’s so friendly.

“Everyone wants him to stay.

By having a lollipop man, it forces cars to stop. Otherwise, you could be waiting 20 minutes to get across the road.

“We should be getting a crossing soon, but I’m worried what will happen at other schools where they haven’t got one.

“We’re talking about children’s safety.”

The council will be discussing the proposals with schools over the summer.

Parents can have their say on the issue by visiting essex insight.org.uk To sign our petition visit: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/save-our-lollipop-men-and-women