Road-safety campaigner loses long battle with cancer

PUBLISHED: 14:51 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

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COPYRIGHT, 2007

ROAD safety campaigner Karen DuGard died last week after a courageous battle with cancer. Despite her illness, Karen, aged 44, fought tirelessly over the last seven years to reduce lorry and HGV movements through Park Street and Frogmore. She set up LOOP

ROAD safety campaigner Karen DuGard died last week after a courageous battle with cancer.

Despite her illness, Karen, aged 44, fought tirelessly over the last seven years to reduce lorry and HGV movements through Park Street and Frogmore.

She set up LOOPS - Lorries Out Of Park Street - and lobbied highways authorities, councils and local hauliers for changes to their transportation and signage policies, often with considerable success.

Karen, of Upton Close, Park Street, was one of the first to recognise that Radlett Airfield might be earmarked for a rail freight depot and initiated the campaign to prevent it from going ahead.

Karen and husband Nick moved to Park Street 21 years ago and with the birth of Daniel, now aged 20, and Katie, 14, she soon became involved in village life through their school.

Her concern at the speed with which lorries raced through the village and the potential danger came from her own experiences of taking the children to school.

She set up LOOPS to campaign for a reduction in the use of the A5183 by heavy lorries and was also involved in tackling other local road safety issues.

Against all the odds, she was the driving force behind the installation of a pelican crossing at the junction of Mount Drive and Park Street even though previous attempts had been unsuccessful.

In 2005 she was nominated for a Community Safety Award by the Herts Police Authority for her local road safety activities.

Karen was first diagnosed with cancer in 2002 and underwent extensive treatment which drove it into remission. Throughout that period she continued with her campaigning and making sure that LOOPS was at the forefront of road safety issues.

But by November last year the cancer had returned and she spent the last few weeks of her life in Watford's Peace Hospice.

Paying tribute to his wife, Nick DuGard said she found her niche in life through her campaigning. He said: "She was the driving force behind LOOPS and she really got involved in it.

"She never got angry or upset but just used gentle engagement with people. She was a very dogged personality."

He said she had considered going into politics but felt that it might dilute her campaigning efforts. He added: "She loved the campaigning side of things and didn't want to be diverted away from the cause.

"She loved meeting people in the village and she was so much part of the community."

Karen's funeral will take place at 11.20am next Tuesday, August 26, at West Herts Crematorium in Garston. Donations are invited for the Peace Hospice.

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