Thirsk'S noisy bypass is to be re-surfaced.

The work will reduce the effects of noise which has plagued people living in about 450 properties.

The concrete section of road on the A168/A19 is also a headache for motorists, and councillors have been pressing for several years for the work to be carried out.

Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, announced a massive scheme to tackle noise, congestion and safety on several roads on Tuesday.

It is the first time there has been a timetable for the removal of all the concrete surfaces on the motorway and trunk road network.

In the first phase alone, more than 11,500 homes across the country will benefit from reduced traffic noise. Journeys on these roads will be quieter for motorists, too.

County, borough and local Coun Jan Marshall said: "This is good news. The noise from the road has been unbearable for residents of Thirsk and Sowerby living nearby. As the A19 has got busier, the noise has got worse. The new surface will be much better for drivers and their vehicles too with no vibration.

Town mayor, Coun Andrew Robinson, added: "This is very welcome news. I am pleased the programme has been given a starting date."