AN experimental 50mph limit will come into force on a dual carriageway this week after calls by hundreds of residents.

Councillors and residents in the village of Lazenby, near Eston, have wanted a 50mph limit and signal-controlled junction with a pedestrian crossing on the A174 outside their village for a number of years.

More than 300 residents signed a petition asking for traffic to be slowed on the A174 in October last year in an attempt to prevent injury or fatalities on the road.

Police and an independent consultancy group said lowering the speed limit would increase accidents.

Now, in consultation with residents, an experimental 50mph limit has been agreed, covering 3km of the A174 between Greystones roundabout and the Kirkleatham roundabout.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council officials said the effects of the limit on the road, which has had 17 recorded injury accidents in the past three years, will be monitored carefully.

Comments or objections from the public from the 12-month experiment will also be taken into consideration and a decision will be made on whether to make the order permanent next year.

Councillor Eric Empson, cabinet member for strategic planning, development and infrastructure, said: "The reduction in the speed limit on this section of the A174 comes as a result of much discussion and consultation with the Lazenby Steering Group, which includes the ward councillors acting on behalf of the Lazenby residents.

"It is recognised that speed limits can only be effective if drivers accept the necessity for them. In this case, the reduction is to afford motorists from Lazenby safer access to the A174.

"I would ask motorists to be aware of the reduction and the reason for it and assist drivers seeking to exit Lazenby."

Councillor Vincent Smith, a member of the steering group, said: "This is a good start and will make the road much safer and, hopefully, lead to other improvements.

"We will wait to see how the new speed limit affects access in and out of the village before we push for anything else.

"But a petition against a proposed turning circle for buses in Lazenby has been submitted and we will continue to fight that."