Over £355,000 is being ploughed into schemes across North Yorkshire to make the 5,000 miles of roads in England's biggest county safer.

In 2019, 34 people died, 265 were seriously injured and 808 slightly injured in crashes across the county. In the past five years over 7,350 people have been killed or injured on North Yorkshire's roads.

Now to help high risk groups including children, young people, cyclists, motorcylists and older road users, cash from the sale of the historic number plate AJ 1, is being ploughed into schemes to help.

The number plate which was owned by North Yorkshire police made nearly £250,000 at auction. Communities, parish and town councils across the county were asked to suggest the best ways to improve road safety in their areas. A panel was set up to decide which ones should benefit with demand more than four times the amount available.

The panel awarded £190,000 from the AJ1 fund and an extra £165,000 which was added from other community funds. In all 81 schemes were chosen including:

• £20,000 for the Glaisdale Footpath Project on the North Yorkshire Moors

• £20,000 for road safety around Woodfield School in Harrogate

• £11,066 for the Newby Wiske, Otteringtons and Maunby Road Safety Group

• £9,320 for the Richmondshire Area Motorcycle Project

• £8,940 for York Advanced Drivers to improve standards among parents and guardians

• £8,750 for the Cononley Village Gateways Project

• £7,500 for the Towton Road Safety Project near Tadcaster

North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan said: "A third of a million pounds for road safety will make a huge difference to many communities and I look forward to seeing the impact of these 81 projects in the years ahead.

"Although the AJ1 numberplate will always have a historical connection to North Yorkshire Police, the impact these schemes will have confirms why it was right to use the value of it to make a real impact. These projects will improve lives, and I'm sure will also save lives by making our roads and the communities they pass through safer, however people use them."

Some of the money raised from AJ1 was also used to improve the Memorial Garden at North Yorkshire Police headquarters.