I READ with interest the article regarding the £50,000 traffic study for Malton which is rightly focusing on the railway crossing.

The only solution to this problem is to remove the railway crossing; there is no other realistic solution. To this end it would be quite possible to drop the railway tracks into a cutting before it reaches the crossing and there is ample distance between the road crossing and the station for the train to be back at platform level when it reaches the station.

The cutting could be a two thirds depth of the train with one third hump in the road crossing the track. So rather than spend large sums studying the crossing, it would be far better to get in touch with Network Rail and ask their engineers to draw up plans to carry out such a scheme.

They should also be asked to contribute to the cost of construction as it is their crossing that is causing traffic delays and the severe pollution caused by waiting traffic.

I am sure the council will throw its arms up in the air saying the cost would be prohibitive, but in the scheme of things, it would not be huge and Network Rail should make a substantial contribution.

From an engineering point of view the job would be fairly straightforward. A mini roundabout could then be placed on the Norton side of a bridge and this would without doubt ease the traffic and pollution problem in that area.

Also slip roads onto the A64 from Broughton Road are a no brainer solution to keep through traffic out of Malton. The bridge is already there; this work should have been carried out in conjunction with the new housing developments to the north east side of the town centre.

Richard Clark, Malton

Repair potholes

YET another £50,000 to be paid to someone to tell the top man at North Yorkshire County Council what he should know already.

1. Another way out of Morrisons; 2. Make the main road the right of way at the level crossings; 3. Better order at traffic lights at Butcher Corner.

A survey wants doing on the A170 in Westgate in Pickering. Cars parked on the A170 narrow the road for large vehicles causing cars to hit the low wall on the north side, damaging wheels, etc. Highways need to spend money repairing the millions of potholes. Several cars have had tyres and wheels wasted in potholes.

M Hammond, Kirkbymoorside

Time to look back

AS we await the first fracking to take place at KM8, it’s worth looking back over progress towards this fateful event since operations started in earnest in September.

While there has been a significant number of deliveries of equipment to the site, it should be remembered that this site already had a well-developed infrastructure, including its own water supply, connection to the gas network and, importantly, the well for the test frack is already drilled.

With new well pads, each with multiple wells, potentially every 1.5 miles, imagine the traffic congestion and disruption caused by developing new sites. Unless new water pipes are installed, then all the water will need to be trucked in and the contaminated waste water trucked out. The gas extracted will need to be supplied somehow either to INEOS’s plastic manufacturing plants or to the gas network, all of which provide risk of methane and other gases being leaked. And, of course, the drilling rigs will need to be moved onto each site. In summary, “you ain’t seen nothing yet”.

Our stretched Environment Agency has monitored this first test frack preparation closely, but despite this there have been two recorded breaches of Third Energy’s environmental permit. What will happen when there are hundreds of wells? Will the EA be able to closely monitor all these sites? When there is no close monitoring then the risk of further breaches must surely increase.

Wherever hydraulic fracturing has taken place in other parts of the world on the scale proposed here, there have been serious environmental consequences. The irony is that the development of renewables and battery technology is at such a stage that additional gas sources are not required.

Paul Elliott, Pickering

Congrats to panto

MAY I through your columns congratulate the pantomime team at the Kirk Theatre in Pickering.

The cast, the costumes, the lighting and effects were superb and the standard of this latest production is amazing. It is easy to see how hard they all work in rehearsals and get everything just right.

I was delighted by the level of audience participation which is all part and parcel of panto. It was the turn of Rosie Hodgson to play Baby Bear and I must say, though all were great, little Rosie did a brilliant job. I try to go every year and this year they have excelled. Thank you for a very enjoyable afternoon.

Julie Hepworth, Pickering

Shocked by council

I WAS shocked that Ryedale District Council refused the public entry to an important debate at Ryedale House.

Yes, they allowed 30 people in who were chosen by raffle tickets - is this what democracy has become?

When they knew in advance that many more people would like to attend, why didn’t they book a bigger venue, or arrange live streaming into the adjacent room?

It would imply that the council are taking away our democratic rights, we the tax payers fund the council and I for one feel most upset at the way we were treated.

Monica Gripaios, Hovingham