HIGHWAYS chiefs have endorsed plans to introduce a 40mph speed limit on a potentially hazardous road.

Durham County Council's highways committee agreed to the limit in Trout's Lane, Hartside, Durham.

The move follows concerns raised about the road, which is being increasingly used as a link with Potterhouse Lane, between the A691 Durham to Consett Road, and the A167 at Pity Me.

A report to the committee noted the road had poor forward visibility, lacked a continuous footpath and had a number of accesses, including a school and mental health unit.

One objection was received from a resident who said the speed limit should be 30mph, or even 20mph, with associated traffic-calming measures.

The resident complained that the road had a blind summit which, when approached at excessive speed, has led to regular accidents with speeding cars hitting queuing traffic.

A review of accident records showed there had been two injury accidents in Trout's Lane from January 2000 to September 2005 - both were rear-end shunts.

Officers told the meeting that a 40mph zone would comply with limits set according to a jointly agreed speed management strategy.

Meanwhile, the committee agreed to set a 40mph limit westwards from the A1(M)-A167 interchange at Chester-le-Street.

The move follows a scheme being carried out by the Highways Agency to reduce congestion on the interchange. These include the widening of the junction approaches from the A1(M) and the A167 and the introduction of a 40mph limit. This would have left a short length of Blind Lane derestricted.

Members of the committee agreed to maintain the start of the 30mph speed limit in its current position.