Memorial garden opens for April as parents pay tribute

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 June 2016

April's parents Garry and Wendy at the garden.

April's parents Garry and Wendy at the garden.

Archant

A memorial garden has opened in honour of a Locking schoolgirl who died last year after falling off her bike into a busy main road.

Tyler and Garry Reeves cut the ribbon with Martha Lee and Jack Wainright.Tyler and Garry Reeves cut the ribbon with Martha Lee and Jack Wainright.

Seven-year-old April Reeves was cycling with her mother and brother along the A371 near Locking when she lost control of her bike and toppled into the path of an oncoming car.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services, she died at the scene.

Her family have created a flower garden near their home in Varsity Way, in Locking Parklands, for people to go and remember her.

Dad Garry and mum Wendy wrote a tribute to their daughter, which said: “How our heart still aches for our little princess April. Sleep tight baby girl.

The memorial flowerbeds.The memorial flowerbeds.

“We will love you forever. Love, hugs and kisses from Mummy, Daddy and Tyler.”

Hutton Garden Centre subsidised and supplied the plants and donated a tree, and helped the family plan and design the garden. CRS Building Supplies also helped by providing materials for the raised beds.

People who went to the garden opening on Sunday wore pink – April’s favourite colour.

Mr and Mrs Reeves said: “The accident has brought the community together and they are still helping us now in their own way to come to terms with the loss of our beautiful little girl.

The memorial flowerbeds.The memorial flowerbeds.

“We would like to thank all our family and friends for being there for us.

“We would like to thank Martin and James Brazier for doing the groundwork and making this all possible.”

After April died, campaigners marched down the A371 calling for better safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists along the road.

A year on from the incident, the couple are keen to impress the campaign to make the road safer has not lost its momentum.

The A371 is a 60mph road which cuts through Locking and anyone living in the Parklands has to cross it to get to the village school.

They said although they are pleased to see a new cycle path installed, which is set back from the road by a grass verge and railings, more needs to be done to make the road safer.

The Reeves family is still pushing for the speed limit to be reduced, and said it is ‘the most significant, easy and obvious safety measure’.

The family also want to see improvements made to the footbridge, which is the main crossing point for those living in Parklands to get to Locking Village, because it is too steep for people with pushchairs to use.

A North Somerset Council spokesman said further changes to the road are in the pipeline to slow the traffic down once the link road connecting the Parklands and West Wick to the motorway has been built this summer.

The £10million link road will connect to the A371, at which point the council will install a roundabout.

The spokesman said: “Further changes to the A371 rely on the construction of a new roundabout at the north-south link junction to slow traffic down and create a new crossing point.

“This work is currently in the design stage and will be complemented by further pedestrian and cycleway work to access the school and village.

“Our thoughts remain with the Reeves family.”

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