A LONG-AWAITED school crossing patroller has been instated on a road just outside the town centre which has been heavily scrutinised for its perceived lack of safety.

Racecommon Road has been the subject of a petition in recent weeks calling for a pedestrian crossing to help children and parents from the three schools on neighbouring Shaw Street cross safely.

The petition, launched by Kingstone’s Barnsley Independent Group candidate Liam Hardcastle, garnered more than 600 signatures.

Experienced crossing patroller, Wendy Jones, was finally introduced on the road by the council after more than 18 months without a patrol - an absence which residents say has put families and the elderly at risk while crossing the busy street.

Liam said Wendy’s new post is great news, but doesn’t solve all of the safety issues which he is campaigning to prevent on the road.

“It is good news,” said Liam.

“But for people crossing the road out of school times, such as children and families at other times of day and elderly people, it is still so difficult to safely cross.

“To me, a crossing patroller being put in place shows the council are acknowledging there is a problem.

“This seems to me like an immediate reaction and attempt at fixing the problem, which really isn’t enough.

“All in all, I do welcome this action but I want the road to be safe to cross for everyone, including the elderly and disabled, at all times of day - not just before and after school.”

Judith Brock, co-head of Joseph Locke Primary School on Shaw Street, said: “We have been missing a crossing patrol on Racecommon Road for such a long time and it’s great to finally have one again.

“Well done to all the local parents and residents who have been making such a lot of noise about the need to keep our children safe.

“With three schools on Shaw Street, it is vital that there is a safe place to cross.

“Vehicles can come down the road very quickly and let’s hope this prevents future accidents.

“I’m sure everyone will join me in welcoming the new crossing patroller to the area.”

Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transportation, added: “We were aware of a need to provide a patrol on Racecommon Road prior to the petition.

“An experienced patrol officer has recently became available and will be deployed to this location as a priority.

“We hope the provision of the crossing patrol will help pupils feel safer on their journey to and from school.”