PARENTS of children who attend a village nursery are desperately pleading to a council to take action over an accident black spot close to where children are dropped off.

High Bank Day Nursery, near Stapleton, Darlington, has an Ofsted rating of outstanding and provides care for babies and children up to four years old in a farm setting.

The nursery is based on a farm track, which is accessed from Cleasby Road – a road which has been described by parents and local residents as being prone to black ice and a serious danger.

One parent, who asked not to be named, said he has witnessed the aftermath of two accidents in the last week.

He said: "On Tuesday there was an accident which could easily have resulted in the death of a mother and her child.

"I arrived on the scene just moments after a van hit the black ice, lost control and skidded across the road into the path of a small car carrying a woman and her child. She had taken action to avoid a head-on collision, but the van still struck her car from behind and she spun off the road and landed in a ditch.

"Miraculously, the mother and her child walked away with just severe shock. The poor child was in a terrible state of distress.

He added: "What is frustrating is this is the second accident in a few weeks in the exact same spot. A car hit another car on the black ice with one car flying off the road, through a tree branch, through a hedge and fence and ended up in the field."

He said the nursery has complained North Yorkshire County Council Highways Authority several times as the black ice is an annual problem, but nothing has been done.

The parent added: "The road is in a terrible state of repair. The surface needs replacing, and there should be speed restrictions, or it should be made a priority one gritting route, rather its current priority two status.

"Multiple children are dropped off and collected at this exact lethal black spot every day –does a child need to die before the council take action?"

Lesley Thompson, owner of High Bank Day Nursery, said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of our parents, children and staff is of paramount importance so we would welcome any steps the local authority can take to address the issue with the main road near the nursery.”

Highways area manager Andrew Davies said: “We are aware of residents’ concerns relating to this stretch of road.

"Following a meeting last week with the local county councillor, who also raised these concerns, we have committed to a detailed inspection of the road surface in this location alongside considering the request to amend the winter salting priority currently given to this part of the highway network. Both of these pieces of work are currently under way.”