I AM writing to express how appalled I am at the complacency shown in the article, Changes signal less congestion (Gazette & Herald, January 9).

Have we got to have a dangerous accident at the traffic lights at the top of Newbiggin before precautions are put in place? And when we do have this accident waiting to happen, no doubt North Yorkshire County Council will tell us there have not been sufficient accidents to warrant any precautions.

Signs have been put up on Pasture Lane to tell us there is a new road layout ahead when there is no alternative but to take the new road, and we are warned there are traffic lights there when the lights have been placed so well that they are visible 100 yards away. But no indication is made that the lights at the top of Newbiggin are now two-way.

I live only a quarter of a mile away from those lights, but it was not until January 7 that I realised that I had lost the right to swing right into Mount Crescent safe from vehicles coming up Newbiggin. The previous times I had been through the lights (possibly as many as eight or 10 times) must have been at quiet times when I was the only vehicle on the road.

Other basic precautions could and should have been provided before a vehicle from the north taking animals to the market crashes into another driving up Newbiggin. Such drivers are not covered by the complacent claim that “the majority of local drivers are now aware of the change”. It is those not “aware” that need the precaution and such drivers can appear for months to come.

The least that is required to make what was a relatively safe junction into a safe junction again is:

l A filter light to stop traffic turning right into Mount Crescent when vehicles are able to come through the lights from Newbiggin;

l A space for the waiting traffic to stand in until the filter operates in their favour;

l Room to the left for traffic going down Newbiggin to continue unimpeded by the queue waiting to turn right.

All of those could have been provided at relatively little cost during all the work undertaken if only the planners were not so complacent.

Derek Searle, Malton

Write to our MP

WHEN fracking in the UK was first advocated, it was believed that with North Sea gas production falling, the country could be hostage to rising energy prices.

Six years later things are very different. New sources of gas from the USA and central Asia have become available, gas prices have halved and there is no shortage of supplies in Europe or across the world.

European demand for gas has also proved much lower than predicted. In addition, over the last five years the cost of energy from solar and wind power has halved, and this diversity protects our energy security.

Shale gas in the USA can be cheaply extracted from vast reservoirs. However, the geology of Britain is very different; shale fields are small and scattered, making fracking much less productive and more expensive. The capital expenditure required even to begin drilling operations, together with the much lower likelihood of success, makes fracking in Britain barely economically viable - especially when it has to compete with falling energy prices. Yet despite these hard facts and against the will of local communities, the Government remains in the pocket of the fracking industry.

Manchester has joined London, Leeds, Wakefield, Hull and York in opposing fracking. Scotland and Wales already have moratoriums in place. Please tell your MP Kevin Hollinrake that we are supposed to be living in a democracy and we don’t want to be the guinea-pig victims of a commercial gamble that could well backfire.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Time to ‘dechox’

THIS is a call out to all chocoholics, cocoa bean lovers and confectionary enthusiasts.

A suggestion, a plea, an idea that will exercise willpower and strength while helping those in Yorkshire and the Humber who are living with heart and circulatory diseases.

Dechox! I’m asking the people of Yorkshire to forget the ordinary New Year detoxes, which attempt to banish all pleasure, and instead just cut one beloved item from your pantry throughout the month of February – chocolate.

Each year, heart and circulatory diseases kills one in four people in the UK, 13,600 of which are from Yorkshire and the Humber. Money raised by those brave enough to take on the challenge will go towards the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) life-saving research into heart and circulatory diseases. Last year, we saw more than 18,000 chocolate lovers raise an astounding £1 million towards vital research, but with your help, we think we can raise even more in 2019.

We’re all familiar with the struggle of saying no to the left over sweets sitting on the coffee table. But by standing up to heart and circulatory disease and saying no to chocolate this February, we’ll be one step closer to beating heartbreak forever. Sound like a battle you want to be a part of? Sign up here bhf.org.uk/dechox

Adrian Adams, BHF