MIDDLESBROUGH’S school crossing patrollers have been honoured for their long service – with 285 years between them.

A celebration event was held at Middlesbrough Town Hall to recognise the dedication and professionalism of the town’s 26 ‘lollipop’ men and women.

Two members of the Middlesbrough Council team have been serving their communities for over 30 years, while 21 have been with the authority for at least five years.

The ceremony saw the school crossing patrollers given long service badges corresponding to their length of service from the town’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Charlie Rooney.

He said: “This event was just a small way of saying thank you to our school crossing patrollers for their work all year round and in all weathers.

“Between the members of the team an amazing number of years’ service has been given and it was a pleasure to meet them.”

School crossing patrols were introduced in the UK in 1954 following an act of parliament which gave local authorities the discretion to provide assistance to help children cross the road on their way to and from school.

Despite the crossing patrols being in place for more than 60 years research has found that many drivers fail to stop when signalled to do so, or set off again before the school crossing patroller has returned to the pavement.

Many motorists also do not know that failure to obey a school crossing patrol stop sign could result in a maximum fine of £1,000 plus 3 points on a driving licence.

Cllr Rooney added: “It is worth all motorists being aware of this and to always be considerate of the safety of children and patrollers.”