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Family of boy killed in road tragedy back new safety campaign

Published date: 11 March 2010 |
Published by: Phil Robinson
Read more articles by Phil Robinson


Robbie Gaunt 

Overton Community Council clerk Katrina Chalk (third right) with local residents (from left) Cllr Jacky Maskall, Ken Farrell, Dennis Owen, Enid Thompson and Geoff Hodgson at the spot where they want to create a 40mph ‘buffer zone’. 

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THE family of a youngster killed in a road tragedy in Wrexham are backing a new safety campaign.

Robbie Gaunt, nine, was knocked down by a car near his home in Overton on the evening of March 19 last year.

As the anniversary of his death approaches Tara Green, partner of Robbie’s father Robert, is now working to improve road safety in schools, and said she supported moves to restrict speed through the village.

She said: “It has been a difficult year for all the family.

“It is very hard when things like Christmas comes along and we have to face them without Robbie.

“It will be particularly difficult on Mother’s Day as what happened to Robbie came just a couple of days before that last year.

“This is never going to go away because you are always thinking what things would have been like if he was still here.

“But all the family are doing as well as expected.”

Tara, who is now working closely with Wrexham Council’s Kerbcraft children’s road safety scheme, has given her backing to the campaign by Overton Community Council to introduce a lower speed limit on the approach to the village along the main A539 route.

Although the move to introduce a 40mph ‘buffer zone’ before the 30mph restriction through the centre of the village has been going on for more than a decade, one of its leaders said it was given ‘fresh impetus’ by Robbie’s death.

She also revealed that there could be fresh hope of a solution.

Community council clerk Katrina Chalk said: “Although Robbie’s death was not due to speeding, what happened to him did reinvigorate the campaign.

“Following a public meeting last October, we stepped things up by producing a DVD, highlighting traffic hazards in the village, and put out a new letter outlining our aims.

“Wrexham Council had said that we didn’t tick all the boxes when it came to the 40mph limit but the Welsh Assembly government has just produced new guidance for councils setting local speed limits, which appears to give us some leeway.

“We are also looking at the possibility of raising the money to buy and operate our own speed camera.”

The campaign has won the backing of Clwyd South Labour candidate Susan Elan Jones who said: “This is an area with narrow roads and blind corners, and the current speed of traffic is an understandable concern to many Overton residents, especially to older people and those with young children.

“A 40mph buffer zone really needs to be introduced here and I am pleased to support this very important campaign.”

Meanwhile, Tara said she was working with children aged five to seven on the Kerbcraft scheme as a move towards ‘giving something back’ after Robbie’s death.

Tara, who is a part-time breakfast and midday supervisor at Rhostyllen Primary, has so far helped with Kerbcraft sessions at Johnstown School and St Christopher’s in Wrexham where Robbie was a pupil.

“If this helps to keep children safe on the roads I am delighted to be able to do something to help,” she added.
 

David James Lunn, 61, of Moorland Avenue, Queen’s Park, Wrexham, who was driving the car which hit Robert, was jailed for 22 months and banned from driving for four years after he admitted perverting the course of justice.

He also admitted two charges of causing death while he had no licence and no insurance.

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