RESIDENTS have given major improvements to the Crockey Hill junction on the A19 south of York a Champagne reception.

Road safety campaigners from the area and Wheldrake councillor Christian Vassie toasted the new traffic lights at Crockey Hill yesterday.

The work to reduce the number of accidents at the blackspot began in January and has seen the installation of traffic signals, street lighting and the creation of a 40mph zone either side of the Wheldrake Lane junction.

The aim of the scheme is to improve road safety in the area and make it easier for drivers to turn in and out of Wheldrake Lane.

Damon Copperthwaite, City of York Council's assistant director of city development and transport, said: "I am delighted at how well the work has proceeded and that we have created a safer junction for vehicles to use on such a busy road."

Coun Vassie said: "I look forward to a great reduction in the number of accidents in the area.

"I am very pleased the council was able to set aside the resources to provide this vital scheme.

"Most importantly, I am grateful to all the local residents who have campaigned on this issue. This has been a widespread campaign."