RESIDENTS are appealing for council action to force drivers to slow down as they speed through a village.

People living at Carlin How, east Cleveland, are demanding traffic calming measures on the A174 where it runs through the built-up area. A protest letter, accompanying a petition signed by 123 people, claims "the number of cars exceeding 30mph is endangering life".

The petition has the support of ward councillors Steve Kay and Bruce MacKenzie. They are concerned that the long-awaited completion of the Skelton and Brotton bypass will increase the volume of traffic passing through Carlin How.

They want the bypass to be extended, to swing around Carlin How, nearby Loftus and Easington.

Coun Sylvia Szintai, lead councillor with Redcar and Cleveland council for environment and infrastructure, says traffic calming will be considered, but an extension to the bypass cannot be. "It took many years to get money for the Skelton-Brotton bypass. The Government is not in favour of building new roads but in trying to find other methods."

Speaking for him and his colleague, Coun Kay said: "There have been several fatal accidents on the A174 in the vicinity of Carlin How and we believe the completion of the Skelton-Brotton bypass will make matters worse by attracting more vehicles on to Brotton Road (A174)."

Coun Szintai said: "We usually traffic-calm roads on housing estates and so on. Whether we would consider traffic calming a main road I cannot prejudge, but it would be difficult. But we will look at it seriously and see if it qualifies for traffic calming."

Andy Hyams, the council's deputy director of technical services, said: "There is no reason why the bypass should attract extra traffic. The road (at Carlin How) has already got a 30mph limit and has a very high profile pelican crossing with overhead gantry signals. But, obviously we will keep the situation under review when the bypass opens."

The two ward councillors say they will continue to campaign for a bypass around Carlin How. As for traffic calming, they say schemes have been introduced in other east Cleveland villages where they promise to be a success.