THE family of a former teacher, killed when a van veered through a crash barrier on the A19 and into her car, have heard safety improvements will be carried out in March 2019.

Sonia Rose, 83, from Carlton Miniott, near Thirsk, was killed on the road near Northallerton in September last year, after a box van swerved from the opposite carriageway and into her path.

Mrs Rose, who had been travelling to meet her walking group in Great Ayton, died at the scene of multiple injuries.

Following her death, Mrs Rose’s family vowed to continue the fight to make the road safer.

They are calling for safety measures to be introduced on the A19 between Dishforth and the Tyne Tunnel, which has seen a multitude of serious and fatal accidents over the years. They particularly wanted to see gaps closed in the crash barriers separating the north and south carriageways.

Their calls were echoed by local MPs Rishi Sunak and Kevin Hollinrake and Coroner Chris Oakley, who held the inquest into Mrs Rose’s death. He wrote to the government highlighting his concerns about the crossing points in the central reservation, which has resulted in other fatalities on the road.

On Friday (July 20) Katy Rose, one of Sonia Rose’s four children, attended a meeting with Highways Agency, Mr Sunak and Mr Hollinrake.

Katy Rose, said at the meeting the Highways Agency representatives showed them a detailed map, created by putting together statistics on road accidents, road deaths and where they happened in relation to the gaps in the central reservation crash barrier.

“They talked us through it and the most dangerous areas were the ones with the most gaps, which also had had the most accidents and most fatal accidents; from South Kilvington to beyond the Cleveland Tontine,” said Katy.

“They said they would definitely start looking at all these areas as a priority, but they had already started with the gap where mum was killed.”

They heard the consultation on proposed safety changes began in March this year and work on the ground is expected to begin in March 2019.

The Highways Agency says so far it has carried out improvement work to junctions at the Black Swan at Elwick, Kirby Sigston and Silton crossroads, with work expected soon to remove the break in the barrier at the Stony Lane junction just south of the Cleveland Tontine.

The agency has to consult with people who use the gaps in the safety barrier and determine reasonable access alternatives.

A Highways England spokesperson said: “The safety of drivers on the A19 is of the highest importance to us. We have completed work to upgrade the barrier at Mount Grace and we are working on closing the gap at Stony Lane - work is due to start here later this financial year.

“We are also working closely with English Heritage on a proposal to improve access to Mount Grace Priory.

“We are currently reviewing the road a section at a time and looking to identify a range of options to further improve safety, including reviewing if any of the gaps can be closed.

"Any proposals for significant change to the A19 will need to consider the diverse needs of the communities who use this road.”