A NEW crackdown on fireworks has been welcomed by the widower of a North Yorkshire woman who led a campaign for a ban.

Marjorie Johnson, 63, died only days before Parliament approved the first of its new controls.

Widower Maurice Johnson believes laws coming into effect today still do not go far enough.

Mrs Johnson died in June last year following a triple heart bypass operation, in Leeds Infirmary.

Mr Johnson, who lives in the Oatlands area of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, said there was much to welcome in the new legislation, which outlaws late night fireworks and bans the noisiest brands.

His late wife spent countless hours lobbying, writing letters and putting pressure on Government ministers to toughen up the law.

Under the regulations, the noisiest fireworks will be limited to 120 decibels - but campaigners say that is similar to a jet taking off and that the figure should be reduced to 90.

Fireworks will also be banned between 11pm and 7am - apart from Bonfire Night and other specific days.

A maximum fine of £5,000 and six months in jail can be imposed for breaking the curfew.

Mr Johnson said: "I think the courts need to take this seriously when someone appears before them.

"It is no use just fining someone £200 when the limit is £5,000. That would be the wrong sort of message."

Mr Johnson said his wife would have been pleased that such progress had been made, but would have still wanted tighter controls.

Mrs Johnson's campaign started after a neighbour's dog she was caring for died in her arms after becoming terrified by fireworks.

Shortly after her death, Mrs Johnson was posthumously awarded a community volunteer award by Harrogate Borough Council.