VILLAGERS are celebrating after winning approval for a scheme to tackle the main cause of regular congestion on England's steepest A-road.

North Yorkshire County Council, the county's police and crime commissioner and Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe Parish Council have agreed to work towards building a turning circle for HGVs on the A170 at Sutton Bank, near Thirsk.

The announcement follows transport minister Andrew Jones visiting the incline featuring three one in four gradient sections, where more than 100 lorries become stranded every year, blocking the road for hours at a time and causing tailbacks outside homes in the village.

Lorry drivers who realise they will not make it to the 298-metre high summit are forced to reverse for 1.8 miles before being able to turn off the Thirsk to Scarborough road.

A decision on the location of the turning circle has yet to be concluded.

Parish council chairman Caroline Artingstoll said the authority's members were thrilled that their three-year campaign to improve residents' quality of life had paid dividends, particularly after their calls for an outright ban on non-local HGVs on the bank were rejected.

Cllr Artingstoll said: "This is what we have been looking for. The minister was extremely understanding and was very keen that something should be done to ensure HGV drivers are not doing all that reversing.

"It' s a problem that needs tackling - the Tour de Yorkshire is so concerned about the peloton becoming stuck on the bank behind an HGV that it is doing an extended road block."

She said their campaign had gained momentum after minister's visit with Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, which saw Nick Dodds, a haulier based near the village, drive Mr Jones up and down the bank.

It is understood the minister did not believe closing the road to any HGVs was a viable option.

After the visit, Mr Hollinrake said he was determined to find a solution, to ensure "our county is accessible to all and allow reliable trade routes for our businesses".

The county council's deputy leader, Councillor Gareth Dadd said all avenues would be pursued to get commitments to fund the scheme, which is thought could cost hundreds of thousands of pounds to complete.

He warned the project could take some time before it was completed and paid tribute to the parish council's "positive engagement".