CAMPAIGNING parents are stepping up their fight to see a safe school crossing for their children.

Mums and dads of pupils attending Runwell Primary School, in Canewdon Gardens, Wickford, have already launched a petition calling on Essex County Council to provide a safe way for youngsters to cross Swan Road.

They claim the road is unsafe since the lollipop lady retired last month, after 21 years in the job.

The petition now has nearly 380 signatures, but the mums behind it, Anita Hogwood and Vicky Stacey, say the county council is still not taking them seriously.

The mums are fuming after they say transport bosses told them they would have a temporary replacement in September, but now the council has said this may not happen.

Mrs Hogwood, 45, whose nine-year-old daughter, Amelia, goes to the school, said: “We were led to believe that there will be a replacement lollipop person on the first day back at school.

“Parents need to know those children will have someone to help them across the road, which is very busy. A ‘maybe’ just isn’t good enough.”

Mrs Hogwood, of Alderney Gardens, Wickford, said parents would now step up the campaign by contacting district councillors and Rayleigh and Wickford MP Mark Francois.

She said: “We are not going to give up, and we will campaign until we get a permanent replacement.”

A spokesperson for Essex County Council said: “The school crossing patrol officer cannot be replaced with a permanent member of staff until we have completed an assessment of the justification for retaining the site on the county council’s list of approved sites.”

He confirmed the assessment would be carried out in September, although the decision on relief cover has not been taken.

The campaigners have also made a video.

To see it and to sign the petition, visit