A ROAD safety scheme to cut accidents at a busy junction near York is finally set to get under way tomorrow.

Eight weeks of road works will start on improvements at the Wheldrake Lane junction on the A19 at Crockey Hill, south of York.

Traffic lights will be installed at the junction, which has been the scene of a number of accidents in recent years, to make it easier for drivers to turn on to or off the A19.

It follows the recent introduction of extra street lighting and the creation of a 40mph zone around the junction to boost safety.

Local councillor Christian Vassie, who has campaigned for years for improvements to the site, welcomed the news, saying: "It is fantastic.

"Almost everyone in Wheldrake will say they have pulled out of that junction and realised that they were making a dangerous turn because there was too much traffic.

"Hopefully, it will put an end to that. There are people being hit on a very regular basis so I hope that the risk will be reduced to make the junction safer for everyone."

The work marks a victory for campaigners who have been calling for improvements at the site for years.

A 260-name petition was submitted to the council in February last year calling for traffic lights, an improved road layout and speed restrictions.

City of York Council had previously looked at crating a roundabout at the junction but said it was too expensive and would result in the loss of a number of nearby mature trees.

Coun Vassie said most accidents at the junction were minor, but there were far too many.

He said: "The biggest problem is that you are quite often at the front of a queue of five or six cars waiting to turn on to the road and after a while you feel embarrased that you are holding everyone up. Then people take risks.

"Most people who have queued at that junction will have had that.

"That is why there are so many shunt accidents that do not get reported because people are not injured."

Work at the site will last for eight weeks, but will mostly be carried out between 9.15am and 4pm from Monday to Friday to reduce traffic disruption.

Temporary traffic lights will at times be used at the junction and the bus stops around Deighton Grove will be moved during the work to near the Strawberry Field caf, for the Selby-bound stop and Dale & Sons garage for the York-bound stop.

A council spokeswoman said: "As with any project of this kind, there is likely to be a certain amount of disruption and inconvenience, but every effort will be made to keep this to a minimum."