PLANS have been unveiled to extend speed limit zones through Rillington in a bid to improve safety for pedestrians and drivers.

Highways England is to prioritise reducing speeds through the village on the A64 following several meetings with Ryedale MP Kevin Hollinrake, North Yorkshire County Councillor Janet Sanderson and residents.

Mr Hollinrake said according to Highways England the best option was to extend the 30mph and 40mph zone through the village.

“A survey carried out in December showed evidence of speeding through the village," he said.

"To address this, it is planning to create a gateway scheme for villages, including Rillington, on the A64 where reduced speeds will be enforced.

“The scheme is already being developed and is currently targeted for delivery in 2019/2020, assuming that funding is available."

Mr Hollinrake said consultations with local people would take place towards the end of this year. “Highways England has assured me that it has considered all possible alternative options, including reviewing traffic signals, but it says it has not been able to identify a solution which won’t, in itself, create further traffic problems,” he said.

“Although local residents have been campaigning for substantial additional pedestrian restraint in the village, Highways England says that while these barriers effectively would prevent pedestrians crossing the road at inappropriate locations, they would provide limited protection to pedestrians in the event of a vehicle crashing into them.

"I will continue to work with Highways England to ensure the improvements are delivered as soon as possible.”

Cllr Sanderson, who represents Rillington, said: “I am delighted to receive this news, not only is there an evidenced speeding issue in Rillington, but the scars on the wall bear testimony to the collisions that have historically taken place. This work cannot happen soon enough. Residents of Rillington need motorists on this busy trunk road to respect their village."

However, Ryedale District and Rillington Parish Councillor Brian Maud said the best way to improve safety was a bypass.

“Anything that can reduce traffic speed as it passes through Rillington has got to be welcomed,” he said.

"Extending the 30 and 40mph will help improve the safety of pedestrians either walking alongside or crossing the main road.

“It is 30mph through the middle of the village and has been ever since speed restrictions were introduced. The amount of traffic passing through Rillington increases every year.

“It is not the road that causes the accidents but bad driving. The only way to get bad drivers from putting lives and homes at risk is to take them out of the village on a bypass.”