COUNCILLORS have successfully fought for the removal of a 'no ball games' sign which was forcing children to cross a busy road to reach the only remaining play area in their village.

The sign angered parents in Aycliffe Village, who claimed the grassed area it was placed on had been used as a play area for years.

It was placed on a green in front of Bickford Terrace, which used to have goalposts on it, and meant that children from that side of the village had to cross the A167 to reach the last play area.

Coun Billy Blenkinsopp took up the residents' concerns. Although a petition had been handed in to Sedgefield Borough Council requesting the sign, he felt it had not been properly collected.

And he said he believed the borough council had put the sign up on what is land belonging to Great Aycliffe Town Council. After making representations to the borough, the sign has now been removed.

Coun Blenkinsopp said: "Sedgefield didn't have permission to put it up, it was done by mistake.

"What should happen now is that every person in the immediate area is contacted by letter asking whether or not they want the sign."

He added: "My main concern is that children need somewhere to play and I don't want to see anyone getting injured crossing the A167 to go to the park."

Mother-of-two Margaret Lenahan, who lives in Bickford Terrace, wants to see the grassed area retained and feels there should be more play provision in the village. She said: "I'm pleased the sign has gone for the moment because this has been a play area since 1948."