Father says ‘no need’ for 60mph limit on A-road where daughter died as council promises upgrades

Locking people and supporters walking along the A371 in honour of young road accident victim April R

Locking people and supporters walking along the A371 in honour of young road accident victim April Reeves. - Credit: Archant

The father of a girl who was killed in a tragic accident on a busy road has demanded a change to the speed limit after Government funding was granted to make the route safer.

Almost £1million has been handed to North Somerset Council to make the A371, which runs through Locking and Banwell, safer for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians after it was recognised as one of England’s most dangerous routes by the Government.

Seven-year-old April Reeves died in 2015 after being hit by car when she fell from her bike and into the 60mph road between Locking Parklands and The Helicopter Museum.

Her parents Garry and Wendy Reeves have campaigned for bolstered safety measures since.

The council has promised to deliver upgrades with the £982,000 grant from the Department for Transport’s Safer Roads Fund – with speed limit changes, new crossing points and central hatching to prevent overtaking among ideas being considered.

Garry welcomed the funding, but believes the speed limit should have already been reduced and is frustrated with how long the project has taken.

He said: “The council should make it 40mph all the way through.

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“ I cannot understand why the speed limit has ever been 60mph. There is no need on this road.

“There will soon be schools on both sides of the road and there are so many houses being built.

“The fourth anniversary of April’s death is in May, and the village is now bigger but there is still a 60mph limit whereas the A38, which is a major road, is 40mph nearly all the way along it.

“The main thing for our family is the speed limit, but it’s going to take a couple of years before they change it.

“We are getting what we want but it is taking a long time.”

Council officers are working on designs for the scheme, and work is expected to start in 2020 after a public consultation.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees vowed comprehensive improvements to the road.

He said: “The money means we can build a combination of schemes to improve the entire stretch of the A371 rather than look at a small section.

“This whole-road approach will give better results than any one scheme alone and will improve safety for everyone using the road.”