ANGRY residents of a village near York say bypass plans should be given urgent priority after a lorry swerved on to a pavement used by school children.

Mollie Haigh, district councillor for Shipton-by-Beningbrough, said a lorry mounted the pavement next to Authitts Cottages on the busy A19, which runs through the village. She said: "I have never seen such horrible lorry tracks - and where there are often children."

No one was hurt in the incident, but Shipton bypass committee chairman Bill Hiles said: "Had it been at another time there would have been parents walking their children home from school.

"It looks as if it was someone who had come too fast through the village and swerved to avoid something. It really underlines our urgent need for a bypass."

Villagers have been campaigning for a bypass since 1938. They say traffic drives too fast along the main road, which children cross to get to the Forest of Galtres School.

Its head teacher, Irene Marwood, said: "When something like this happens it does raise a lot of worries in the minds of parents.

"They have put traffic calming islands in the road, but lorries just swerve round them like juggernauts."

Parish council chairman Clifford Smith said: "In the last couple of years the situation has become more worrying."

The Shipton bypass is scheduled to be built in 2008.

Coun Peter Sowray, executive county council member for environmental services, said: "We would love to build a bypass for Shipton, but there a whole procedure to follow and you have got to prioritise. I am very sad about it, but the government slapped our wrists for building too many bypasses."

Updated: 08:31 Wednesday, October 08, 2003