HUNDREDS of people have indicated their support for planned changes to the way traffic is managed in Northallerton.

Residential and business addresses within a five-mile radius of the town - a total of 9,000 - were sent leaflets and questionnaires during the summer about the proposed strategy.

An exhibition of the various options was also staged earlier this month, with officials on hand to explain them to the public.

The closing date for responses for the public consultation exercise was last Friday, by which time more than 1,800 had been received.

"This represents a 20 per cent response rate, which is very good for a consultation of this nature," said North Yorkshire County Council's director of environmental services, Mike Moore.

Mr Moore said that the response to the various options had been generally supportive.

But he added: "Given the level of response, we will need some three to four weeks to fully analyse and assess the results."

The county council has been working with local organisations on the development of an overall plan for managing traffic in the area over the next five years.

It is one of a series of strategies being drawn up for market towns across North Yorkshire.

Options include improvements at key junctions in the town to ease traffic flow and to improve road safety. Also included are enhanced facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and vulnerable road users.

About £100,000 has already been identified for first phased schemes identified in the strategy, which is expected to be agreed in December.

Projects that could be started during the current financial year include upgrading various bus stops in and around the town centre, dropped kerbs and tactile paving on key pedestrian routes, plus signing improvements.

Construction of a puffin crossing on East Road has already begun.