WORK on the latest phase of a £400,000 road safety project in Darlington is under way.

A pedestrian crossing is being instal*ed in Whinbush Way at a cost of £80,000. It is part of a major scheme that will eventually see six crossings upgraded and two new ones put in place across the town.

The cash has come from the borough council's local transport plan funding, which will see a total of £3.7m spent on the town's highways and public transport this year.

Other schemes will include safer routes to schools, better town centre access and bus improvements.

The Whinbush Way crossing links a cycle route from Sparrow Hall Drive, allowing safe access to the nearby Asda supermarket.

It is due to be fully operational early next month.

Other projects completed this year have included: Neasham Road, where £18,000 has been spent to upgrade the existing zebra crossing; the upgrading of the pedestrian crossing at the junction of North Road and St Paul's Terrace, at a cost of £32,000; the £29,000 upgrading of a pelican crossing at the North Road and Lowson Street junction; work to improve the crossing at the junction of Yarm Road and Hewitson Road at a cost of £45,000; improvement work to the pedestrian crossing at Morrisons, on North Road, costing £32,000.

Two new puffin crossings have also been installed at the junction of Yarm Road and St. John's Crescent, and at Salters Lane North at a cost of £21,000 and £23,000 respectively.

Signals on the Hundens Lane pedestrian crossing have been upgraded in a £96,000 scheme.

Nick Wallis, the council's cabinet member for highways, said: "The investment we have made to upgrade pedestrian crossings this year will significantly improve road safety for pedestrians on some of the town's busiest roads."