RE: A64 upgrade. I have no objection to spending £500m improving this road, but I think the chance of this happening at present is close to zero.

The A64 is a public highway on which we can all walk, ride and drive, it is not exclusively for the use of motor traffic, and yes I do own a car.

A 60mph (or 70 when dualled) road is no place for pedestrians, cyclists or horse riders, and in years to come we may wonder why this was ever allowed.

For a car driver joining a 60/70mph road, turning right can be one of the most difficult and dangerous manoeuvres. Fortunately, most people get it right most of the time. To make matters worse we can turn onto a narrow roads and still do 60mph.

First change national speed limits to 70mph on motorways and dual carriageways built to motorway standards, 50mph on A roads (single or dual) and 40mph on B roads. These changes being relatively cheap to implement.

The government and motoring lobby may disagree, but vulnerable users should always be given priority which could mean making junctions or pedestrian crossings 30mph.

We could widen junctions and build an island in the centre, vehicles would only have to cross one lane of moving traffic at a time and the island would help other uses to cross safely.

It might also be possible to rationalise/close some of the minor roads which link in the hinterland.

Finally, build a network of cycle and foot paths linking villages to nearby towns.

The paths should be set well away from the edge of the road. Why should someone who is causing no pollution, noise or danger be battered by the passage of fast moving vehicles? By these measures I believe we could make travel faster, safer and less stressful for all users.

C Stewart, Scarborough

Light at night

THE fracking site near Pickering is brilliantly illuminated at night. The company still hopes, before Christmas, to launch wholesale UK fracking if the business secretary now gives it the final go-ahead. No other sites have been fracked since Cuadrilla caused minor earthquakes in Lancashire in 2011.

It’s light

By night

At the site

Of the frack

It’s right

To fight

For the light

‘Gainst the might

And the sight

Of those who exploit

The earth

But not for

The right

To light

By night,

Of those blind

To the plight

Of the earth

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave

Under threat

I WAS delighted to read that the Tour de Yorkshire is coming to Ryedale, bringing with it all the excitement of the race and helping boost the regional economy.

Cllr Luke Ives, chairman of Ryedale District Council’s policy and resources committee, commented that “Once again the beautiful Ryedale district will feature in this fantastic race with media from around the world able to see our stunning landscape and picturesque market towns.

“The race passes right through the middle of Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside, Pickering and Thornton-le-Dale.”

I too love our beautiful Ryedale, but I wonder if Cllr Ives understands that many of these towns and villages are under threat from the development of fracking.

I wonder what our “beautiful Ryedale district” will look like should this happen?

June Smith, Helmsley

Tip of the iceberg

I IMAGINE those who are “sick of the protesters” know little if nothing about the effects of fracking. Have they even done any research on the devastation caused in the USA, Australia, Canada and many other parts of our world?

Closer to home it has been banned in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France, along with other countries of the EU. Doesn’t that say something?

With reference to the cost of the police presence, why does the taxpayer have to foot the bill? Fracking is going ahead because its a business.

They are there to make money, even if they do it under the pretence of giving us cheap gas. It won’t be cheap, when have we ever had cheap anything in the UK.

The county council in their wisdom, or lack of, passed permission to frack Ryedale.

Did any of those responsible actually know anything about fracking or make it their business to find out before they voted?

Did they know about lakes of poisoned water in the USA seeping into the water table, people living in remote areas who cannot drink their well water any more or use it for anything else?

Where some states experienced a few minor earthquakes per year, the number has now rocketed to hundreds each year and these are just the tip of the iceberg.

Betty Grave, Pickering