TRAFFIC levels at a Ryedale junction which has been marked out as a major source of pollution have fallen since a new £5.5 million link to the A64 was completed, council officials have claimed.

An analysis of the traffic situation in Malton and Norton in the wake of the Brambling Fields junction scheme, which opened in November 2012, said there had been a "small but potentially significant reduction" in the number of cars and lorries using Butcher Corner in Malton last year, meaning traffic passing through the town's air quality management area has been cut.

A report which has been discussed by North Yorkshire County Council's Ryedale area committee said HGV levels fell by 5.2 per cent in 2013 compared with the previous year, with car numbers reducing by almost three per cent, although officials said it was not clear whether this was purely due to the Brambling Fields upgrade or also other factors.

The findings also said between 500 and 600 more vehicles a month were now using the B1248 Scarborough Road since the A64 scheme was completed, with some of this increase possibly down to new housing schemes and a new factory on the Norton Grove Industrial Estate.