PLANS for a £250,000 investment in 20mph zones to boost safety for pedestrians and motorists in the Darlington area have been unveiled.

Darlington Borough Council is planning to introduce reduced speed limit areas across the town and work could begin early next year.

Consultation with people living in the affected areas will start next week.

If approved, work to establish the zones in the Eastbourne, Coombe Drive, Fitzwilliam Drive and Oakwood Drive areas would start in February.

The Eastbourne scheme would take in many streets, including Eastbourne Road, Brunton Street, Bright Street, Pease Street and Cobden Street.

The 20mph zones would also be created in the Lascelles area and at the Corporation Road end of the Denes from April.

Streets covered by the Lascelles scheme would include Fenby Avenue, Melsonby Crescent, Gilling Crescent, Cliffe Way and Coxwold Drive.

The Corporation Road project takes in a large number of roads, including Kitchener Street, Beaconsfield Street, Mowden Terrace, Marshall Street and Dodds Street.

Traffic calming measures would be installed in the areas and children are being given the chance to design signs to warn drivers they were entering a 20mph zone.

The winner will receive a bicycle and their signs will be displayed at the entrances and exits to each zone.

Councillor Nick Wallis, the borough council's cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The plans for new 20mph zones demonstrate our commitment to ensuring roads throughout the borough are safe for all users.

"This is a significant investment in improving the local environment for pedestrians and motorists, and will bring immense safety benefits."