THERE can have been few debates more ridiculous than the debate on the Malton Infrastructure and Connectivity Improvements Study.

The Study has some good ideas, but avoids the main issue.

The event which triggered the study was the announcement last year of a proposal to increase the number of trains crossing the level crossing in Norton and the inevitable worsening of congestion in Malton town centre.

Everybody knows congestion is already bad because of Ryedale’s planned overdevelopment of Malton and Norton by huge estates built by regional and national builders, while small local builders are starved of land in the villages.

We were told this overdevelopment would be acceptable; that building a roundabout at Brambling Fields would open up both towns for development if supported by an HGV ban over the level crossing.

We now have the roundabout and the ban, and the effect has been to move the problem rather than to solve it.

I’ve suggested that all new development should have direct access to a four way intersection on the A64 – so that new traffic which does not want to go through Malton town centre can escape from Malton without going through the town centre.

This idea has not been agreed because this would prevent the council’s planned redevelopment of the council office site, and you don’t need to be a genius to see this will probably include Quarry Bank and the adjacent land owned by the police.

A public enquiry at the end of the month will be asked to allocate the Council land.

The reason: Ryedale wants the money from the sale of the site and “New Homes Bonus” and can get this more quickly if it builds big estates.

Is this taken into account in the “connectivity study”? Of course not.

Ryedale has become a parasite on our towns instead of their steward.

We now have a new chief executive. It will be interesting to see how she deals with this issue.

Cllr Paul Andrews, Malton

Nail in shops’ coffin

WELL residents of Malton and Norton, ANPR has finally come to use in our town, and I bet some of you are thinking “it’s about time the police used it in town”.

Well it’s not the police, it’s Norton’s own so-called community hub.

Yes, the hub for the community is using it to stop people parking in our car park, and letting a company benefit from it.

So visitors who can’t park on the street to use Norton’s shops, cannot park there, because there is no room for the hub users.

Well I have taken images of this car park over several days and not once is it full.

You can get a permit if you help out there, so those that live in Norton and Malton can park there if they help and go shopping for the coffee break, but visitors can’t.

Don’t North Yorkshire County Council know, shops are struggling already and they let this happen.

North Yorkshire County Council and Ryedale District Council should look into this, and make surprise visit to see how full this car park gets.

But make sure you turn up on the right day because it’s not open every day, and it closes early as well.

So North Yorkshire and Ryedale councils, is it another nail in the coffin for Commercial Street shops and residents.

Mark Webster, Commercial Street, Norton

Welcome vote

IT was very disturbing to hear of governmental plans to remove local control of fracking applications and deal with these on a national level.

Under these proposals, we could be forced to tolerate extra pollution, extra traffic and even be forced to sell our land without meaningful right of appeal.

I would therefore wholeheartedly thank the 28 members of Ryedale District Council who voted to oppose this motion.

It was good to see councillors reject tribal allegiances and vote as one.

As Cllr Dinah Keal pointed out, this is an issue that goes way beyond the issue of fracking and goes to the heart of local democratic principles.

There were no votes against, just one abstention, presumably a turkey with no view on Christmas.

Peter Winter, Kirby Misperton