WORK is due to start on Monday on a footpath between two villages.

Residents had been calling for a footpath between Hurworth and Neasham, near Darlington, for 20 years.

They had been concerned about residents, and particularly schoolchildren, having to use the road to get between the two.

Darlington Borough Council said the work would start soon - because £115,000 for the project would be lost if work did not begin before March 31.

The news was received by Neasham parish council from the borough council's development director John Buxton.

In the letter, Mr Buxton said: "There has been no objection from the landowner to the proposed compulsory order for land required for a footpath link to Hurworth.

"The Government office has to confirm the order, which they are giving top priority.

"We anticipate a start on the site on Monday."

Neasham parish council chairman John Weighell said: "After many years of campaigning, the villagers will be delighted with this news."

Hurworth parish council chairman Clive Bullock said: "We are delighted."