Crossing the road safely – pedestrians and school patrols

Information about what we do to make sure people can cross the road safely, including pedestrian crossings and school crossing patrols.

School crossing patrols

We employ school crossing patrol officers, also commonly known as lollipop ladies or lollipop men. These are people entitled by law to stop traffic in order to let pedestrians cross the road when they are wearing uniform, and displaying the official school crossing sign.

There are various criteria that we look at when we are deciding whether or not to fund a new school crossing patrol. These include:

  • number of children;
  • volume and speed of traffic; and
  • what other crossing measures are available nearby.

School crossings can be funded by us, however, it is also possible for a school or parish or town council, or other organisation, to fund a school crossing patrol.

For more information, please email

  • When taking your child to and from school always set a good example and use the patrol.
  • Always encourage your child to go to the patrol point to cross.
  • Follow the instructions given by the patrol. Don't follow the patrol into the road but wait on the footpath until asked to cross.
  • Always cross in front of the patrol, never behind their back.
  • Crossing the road away from a patrol point or not using the patrol is dangerous and sets a bad example to children.

It is helpful if motorists think carefully when approaching a school crossing patrol.

  • If you see a 'lollipop lady' or 'lollipop man' on the pavement, slow down and be prepared to stop if the sign is raised.
  • If you are asked to stop, wait a short distance from the patrol. Don't creep forward or rev your engine and don't move away until the patrol is completely off the road.
  • Do not park near or on the usual crossing point as you could obstruct the patrol's view or prevent them from safely stepping out.
  • Remember that failing to stop when asked to do so is an offence and offenders are always reported to the police.

Pedestrian crossings and walking safely

We provide various types of road crossings so that pedestrians can cross busy roads safely. You can find more information and pictures of types of crossings, as well as the general rules for pedestrian road users, in the highway code.

Motorists must remember that:

  • pedestrians have right of way on a zebra crossing if they have already started to cross; and
  • if a pedestrian has already started to cross a side street that you're about to turn into from the main road, they have right of way.

If the issue is causing an immediate danger to the safety of road users, it is classed as an emergency. You should contact us by telephone to report an emergency rather than using our online forms. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 8am - 5.30pm.

Dial 999 if there is current injury or danger to life.

Otherwise, you can tell us about an issue with a pedestrian crossing using the 'my account' section of the website. 'My account' also allows you to view details of services you have previously applied, booked and paid for. You can also see updates on their progress.

Log in and report a highway issue

If you prefer, you can tell us about a highway issue anonymously, but please be aware that you will miss out on the benefits of having an account which means you will not receive progress updates.

As resources are limited, we have to look at every request for a new pedestrian crossing and decide what is the best action to take. We will look at the volume of traffic and pedestrians using the street. Sometimes, other types of actions such as speed limit enforcement or signage might be considered instead of a new crossing. If speeding is the issue, have a look at how we can help with speeding problems in your area.

Sometimes, it may be that the area of road you have alerted us to is not as dangerous as other places in terms of how many accidents there have been there. There may be other streets where accidents and injuries have been reported, and we will need to take action there first. 

You can contact us online to request that we study your area to assess the need for a new crossing using the 'My Account' service.

Motorists and cyclists can also help make our roads safer for everyone. Find safer driving tips for all weathers here and find information on driver and cyclist training here.