Plymouth lollipop man resigns over high-five council row

Lollipop sign Parent Barbara Laws said Bob Slade was "doing the job very well"

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A lollipop man has resigned after being threatened with suspension for high-fiving children who were crossing a road.

Bob Slade, 65, helped children to cross a road leading to Manadon Vale Primary School, in Plymouth.

Parent Barbara Laws said his actions were "not dangerous" and it was a "ridiculous" situation.

Plymouth City Council said those on patrols can be "friendly", but their "full attention must be on the road".

Ms Laws: "He had his hand out anyway to hold back the traffic and as the children crossed they would pat the hand that he was holding out.

"In my opinion that's not dangerous. I think if you spoke to any of the parents they wouldn't think it was dangerous - if we had we would have asked him to stop."

Recruiting a replacement

Mr Slade said he was "upset" by what had happened.

Speaking to the Plymouth Herald, he said he had been doing the job for more than four years without a single accident.

Ms Laws said he was "doing the job very well" and following his resignation no-one was patrolling the road.

"It was all down to a decision which we [parents] don't understand," she added.

A council spokesperson said: "We take the safety of children very seriously and school crossing patrols exist to make sure children can cross roads as safely as possible.

"To do this they must hold out the lollipop with one arm and hold their other arm outstretched to signal that all traffic must stop - this is well established signalling that should be understood by all drivers.

"While patrols can be friendly, their full attention must be on the road and they must watch the traffic closely at all times.

"It [high-fiving] was one of a number of safety issues raised with the school crossing patrol before he made the decision to resign."

The authority added that it would be recruiting a replacement "as quickly as possible".

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