Jun 9 2011 by Gary Fanning, Hamilton Advertiser
A MUM this week blasted council chiefs after her seven-year-old boy was almost killed when knocked down outside a primary school.
And the accident happened only weeks after a lollipop lady was axed from patrolling at the school’s gates.
Aiden Craw (7) screamed in agony, “Am I going to die?” to his horrified mum, Julie, after being struck by a taxi as he left school.
Now furious parents have demanded the reinstatement of a lollipop woman outside Glengowan Primary School following last Wednesday’s accident in Larkhall’s busy Union Street.
In March, 2010, South Lanarkshire Council sparked fury among parents when they announced that 30 school crossing patrols across the authority were to be axed.
The move was part of council cutbacks.
The lollipop patrols were withdrawn in Hamilton’s Cadzow Street at Muir Street, Wellhall Road at Royellen Avenue, Burnblea Street at Portland Place, Swisscott Avenue at Woodhead Crescent, Carron Court at Woodhead Crescent and Backmuir Drive at Braemar Street.
In Larkhall they were axed from Keir Hardie Road at Wilson Street, Hamilton Street at Duke Street and Keir Hardie Road at Howard Street.
Other axed patrols were at Blantyre’s Logan Street, Uddingston’s Old Glasgow Road at Porterswell and Townhead Street at Colinhill Road.
In Lanark the cuts were Smyllum Road at Kenilworth Road; Cleghorn Road at Braedale Road.
Traumatised Aiden, of Sunnyside Street, Larkhall, ran across the road and was hit by the vehicle at 3pm.
Angry parents said it was an accident waiting to happen and have accused South Lanarkshire Council of putting children’s lives in danger.
The primary three pupil was dragged across the road like a rag doll in the horror accident.
Emergency services raced to the scene and found Aiden with a bleeding foot.
He was taken by ambulance to Wishaw General Hospital but was released later.
The following day he went to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, where he was given a skin graft to treat his left foot.
The accident has left him scarred for life.
Aiden can’t walk at the moment and is on crutches but is hoping to make a full recovery.
He will have to go back to Yorkhill Children’s Hospital for further treatment to his foot.
Furious Julie said Aiden was lucky not to be have been killed and has called for the council to bring back a lollipop patrol to prevent another serious accident to a child.
“I was hysterical and scared to look at Aiden,” she said.
“There was blood all over his foot.
“Aiden was in so much agony and was screaming am I going to die?
“There was nothing the taxi driver could do.
“It was lucky that the taxi wasn’t travelling fast and the driver slammed on the brakes quickly otherwise Aiden could have been killed.
“The vehicle’s tyres were only inches from running over Aiden’s leg.
“This has all happened because of council cutbacks.”
And Julie added: “I would just like to thank the school staff and a fireman who was on the scene quickly and helped Aiden.”
The local authority’s decision to withdraw a lollipop patrol from outside the school in April sparked fury among parents.
A lollipop lady is stationed about 50 yards along Union Street at the pelican crossing across from the Co-op.
But parents feel that isn’t good enough.
One grandmother said: “It is absurd that a lollipop woman is 50 yards down the road at a pelican crossing.
“There is going to be a serious accident unless something is done.”
A concerned dad added: “Two little girls from Glengowan Primary were nearly killed this week when they were crossing near the train station.
“I heard that the council are going to spend £80,000 on doing up Larkhall Leisure Centre.
“That’s a waste of money, they should be spending the money to retain lollipop patrols and saving children’s lives.”
Larkhall councillor Jackie Burns arranged an urgent meeting yesterday (Wednesday) at 2.30pm between the chairman of the school’s parent council, the head teacher and representatives from the council’s roads department to address parents’ concerns.
“We want to make sure that everything is done to prevent something like this happening again,” he said
Pupils at Glengowan Primary will move into a new school in the town next March.
But after Glengowan move out, the school will be used as a decant school for St Mary’s and Machanhill Primary Schools until their new schools are completed.
A council spokesman said; “As part of the schools’ traffic plan children are encouraged to walk to where the crossing patroller is before crossing the road and there is a crossing patroller who operates at the nearby pedestrian crossing outside the Co-op in Union Street. “This patrol has been operating in this vicinity for a number of years now and we would ask parents to remind children always to go to the crossing patroller to cross the road.”