A COMPREHENSIVE road safety package aimed at slowing traffic through a North Yorkshire village, which is notorious for accidents, has been welcomed by residents.

Skeeby has already been promised a lower speed limit - down to 30mph from 40mph - on a road made busy by commuters between Richmond and Darlington.

The county council has now confirmed the community could qualify for a "gateway" scheme.

That would mean the introduction of rumble-strips, high-profile road markings, and new signs on approaches from both Richmond and Scotch Corner.

Last year, residents launched a campaign for lights to control the flow of traffic on the bridge over the beck, just to the east village, after a spate of four accidents in six months.

In the worst, a woman from Catterick Garrison was killed and two others were injured, when a car was involved in a head-on collision with a bus.

They have since accepted it would be a costly solution, which could lead to queues blocking the drives of some properties along the main road.

Yesterday, spokeswoman Anne Brown said she would be happy to accept an alternative, if it still had the desired effect.

She said: "People drive through the village too fast. It has taken me ten minutes to cross the main road before. Places like Skeeby are just not built for modern traffic.

"We will have to wait and see if these new proposals work, but I shall certainly support them.'' Parish council chairman John Budden said that public consultation on the scheme had yet to begin, and he had yet to see full details of the proposals.

However, he said: "Anything which slows down traffic through the village has to be welcome.''

County Councillor Michael Heseltine is also supporting the scheme.

"Without doubt, what is proposed is far more extensive than most schemes.

"Very few places in the county have such extensive measures, and I hope residents find them acceptable,'' he said.

Formal consultation begins within days and, if there are no objections, then work on the Skeeby "gateway" package could begin as early as the spring