YOUNGSTERS at a Darlington school have had their say in a unique £65,000 scheme to make their journey to school safer.

The town's first completed school travel plan was officially launched in a special school assembly at Harrowgate Hill Junior School.

Darlington Borough Council worked with teachers and children to find solutions to transport issues and road safety problems in the area around the school.

The council has identified £65,000 for the school which will be spent on new road safety measures to ensure children are not in danger as they approach or leave the area.

Included in the scheme are traffic-calming measures for Thompson Street West and Longfield Road near to the school gates.

Discussions are also taking place as to the possible introduction of an informal one-way system in a lane behind Thompson Street West used by cars and pedestrians.

The one-way system would operate at the start and end of the school day to make it safer for children who use it as a short-cut.

As part of their research into the travel plan, pupils at the school took part in role-plays, pretending to be residents, shopkeepers and parents and discussing what their views on the plans might be.

They also carried out a survey at the school gate to see what people's opinions on traffic and congestion were.

Talking about the plan, Coun Nick Wallis, Darlington Borough Council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "This the first of a series of school travel plans which will feature in schools across the borough.

"Reducing the risk to children travelling to and from school is a key target of the council and I am delighted at the success of this first scheme.

"Our officers have worked hand in hand with the school to ensure that the completed plan is one which will be owned by everyone and will help address the issues closest to the hearts of pupils, parents, and local residents.