THE Highways Agency has said improvements to the A1 are expected later this year.

The agency has pledged to improve the notorious stretch of the A1 between Buckden and Southoe following another fatal accident - Diddington resident Barbara Wlodarczyk died when the VW Golf she was driving collided with an Audi A3 at the Diddington juction on January 25.

The Hunts Post reported last week that the HA was considering changes to the speed limit and signs on that stretch of the A1 and it has now revealed that a scheme has been designed.

An agency spokesman said: "Safety is paramount and besides constantly monitoring safety on this part of the A1, as across our network, we have immediate plans to improve signage warning road users about bends on this section of the road.

"The scheme has already been designed and is expected to be delivered in late autumn 2013."

He added that a feasibility study had been undertaken into a new 60mph speed limit between the two villages, the outcome of which - and associated funding - would be known in March.

"Should this bid for funding be unsuccessful, we will further investigate other safety improvements," he said. "One option may be to close the central reservation gaps along this stretch of road but we recognise this would be quite disruptive to local residents and so would investigate any other possible options first."

Residents have been campaigning for over 20 years for speed restrictions to be installed on the road but, as always, funding is the issue.