IN response to last week’s article stating that improvements are on the way for Malton trains.

The article refers to conversations between MP Kevin Hollinrake and TransPennine Express (TPE) and talks mainly about better information for passengers, including earlier notification of cancellations for Scarborough passengers, so they can make an informed decision to stay in York, rather than disembarking in Malton. This is not a victory for Malton passengers.

Mr Hollinrake also claims that TPE bosses have told him that other train operators are to blame. This is not true and many TPE workers state that it is their own trains that are causing the disruption. For example, the 17.21 from Leeds to Malton used to leave at 17.12. This time slot has now been taken by another TPE train from Manchester to Middlesbrough. This train stops at all stations on the route meaning that the Malton train is stuck behind it every day.

Both trains are constantly late. The 17.21 train from Leeds to Scarborough has never reached Malton within five minutes of its scheduled time since the timetable change. It now averages 20 minutes late a day. There have also been several recent cancellations (trains terminating in York). There are reports of passengers losing their jobs over the severe delays.

What passengers really want is for the trains to run on time and not better information on cancellations. Unless there is a change to the timetable this will not happen. A further timetable change is not scheduled until May 2019. The only other solution is to run the trains between Leeds and Scarborough/Malton and not start in Manchester. Connections can still be made as there are several trains an hour between Leeds and Manchester. Starting the Malton trains in Leeds would mean avoiding the areas where the main disruption is caused.

There clearly needs to be a quick decision made to stop the rail chaos. The fares are also among the most expensive in Europe and with only three carriages per train, overcrowding is a big problem. This combination makes it very unpleasant for the customers.

Stewart Frank, Malton

Short-sighted view

REGARDING your recent article on the leaking water main between Cropton and Lastingham that took nearly two months to be repaired, Mr Knight should be highly-commended for reporting the leak and for his persistence in getting it repaired.

The problem that water companies have is that after outsourcing part of their their workforce, the contractors who carry our repairs can charge a premium rate for an urgent repair to be carried out.

This has contributed to a policy of, if the escaping water is doing no damage to property or road surface, then it should be allowed to run until the contractor fits it into their workload, in order to save money.

This short-sighted policy does not consider the electricity costs of pumping the water from its source, into reservoirs and onto customers. The policy also alienates the consumers who think, why should I conserve water if the water company do not repair their leaks for weeks on end.

The reply given by Yorkshire Water on these occasions is that they are doing their best, which is clearly not the case as recently two small leaks in Bridge Street, Pickering, also took several weeks to repair, and the contractors had the road closed for about 15 days causing disruption to traffic and loss of custom to traders and the nearby museum.

Defra has warned that the country will run short of water in 2050 due to growing population and resulting large scale housebuilding, but action will have to be taken much earlier if we do not appreciate this scarce commodity.

I think that the Government using the water industry’s watchdog Ofwat should act to enforce the water companies to carry out urgent repairs to all leaking pipes.

Water mains should be repaired within three working days, and all other leaks within seven days. Failure to meet these targets should result in a fine on the water company involved.

This would show customers that the water companies can work efficiently and that everyone should play their part in valuing this precious gift of life, before it runs out.

G Clitheroe, Kirkbymoorside

No rationing here

PETER Winter seems to think that RAAP would wish to see the right to protest being rationed.

This is far from the case, however, those who want to protest peacefully are at risk from the anti-social and dangerous antics of a minority of itinerant “eco-warriors”.

The need for the police to deal with people who invade the drilling site, set up illegal road blocks, hijack lorries and prevent people from going about their lawful business hardly constitutes a rationing of protest.

I would be interested to know what the denizens of the protest camp have contributed to the local economy. One thing is clear, however, the tab for the massive police presence required to deal with these eco-hooligans falls onto our increasing council tax bills.

Dick Hayball, Pickering

20th century leap

THANK you to our district councillors who are heightening awareness about the need for Ryedale to expand its current plastic recycling. Ryedale is years behind other authorities.

There’s a great opportunity to change this and I support the motion for the council to expand its recycling service to enable a wider range of plastics to be recycled. So come on Ryedale District Council, take a leap into the 21st century.

Your residents have waited long enough.

Caroline Davis, Hovingham