FANTASTIC news that Malton station is going to get new facilities at last – the lack of public toilets especially has been a disgrace for many years, but when are the train companies going to invest in other infrastructure that would make a massive difference to travellers and the congestion issues that their Norton railway crossing leads to?

What Malton station really needs is a second platform, pedestrian and cycle bridge access and more parking.

The train service between Scarborough and York is set to double this year, which is brilliant news, but will significantly increase the congestion levels at the Norton railway crossing.

By adding a second platform the down time at the railway crossing could be reduced and would have less impact on congestion. A pedestrian and cycle bridge directly into the station from Norton would not only make the access into the station safer for these train users, but should reduce the number of people needing to drive to the station. For those who have to bring the car, additional parking on the Norton side, on land which Network Rail already own, would seem like an ideal solution.

This would of course need substantial investment by Network Rail and Transpennine, but if they genuinely want to provide the excellent service, these improvements must be delivered as soon as possible.

The increased revenue from the doubling of the service later this year will benefit their bottom line and people in Malton and Norton deserve greater investment in our station and town to avoid further traffic congestion.

Ongoing discussions between Ryedale District Council, North Yorkshire County Council and train companies have so far produced no tangible results and all parties need to step up their efforts to deliver.

Perhaps our MP could now turn his attention to these improvements – which have been discussed for many years - and which would make a huge difference to local residents as well as rail users.

Cllr Di Keal, Norton on Derwent

Support for PM

I READ with interest the letter from John Hudson of Norton in last week’s Gazette who states that the Prime Minister’s deal to leave the EU does not honour the referendum result.

In my view, Mrs May’s deal does deliver on the very ambitious promises made prior to the referendum by giving Parliament control over immigration and our money whilst protecting businesses and jobs.

In terms of Mr Hudson’s concerns about the ongoing influence of the European Court of Justice, Attorney General and highly-respected barrister, Rt Hon Geoffrey Cox MP, pointed out that these are temporary and primarily relate only to the Implementation Period.

In his speech in Parliament on December 3 he stated “these are inherently time-limited functions, and once they are at an end the court will have no jurisdiction in relation to disputes involving citizens and businesses in the United Kingdom”.

The most controversial element of the Prime Minister’s deal is the Irish Protocol or “backstop”, which is designed to be a temporary arrangement if a trade deal with the EU is not agreed within two years.

Mrs May is working round the clock to agree a legally binding amendment to the backstop to ensure that it is clear that the UK can leave this temporary status without being unreasonably prevented from doing so by Brussels.

I agree with Mr Hudson that taking no deal off the table at this point would compromise our negotiating position. I will continue to support the Prime Minister in her negotiations.

Kevin Hollinrake MP

A concern for MP?

I SEE that Jim Ratcliffe, founder of the fracking company Ineos, has called for safeguards on earth tremors caused by fracking to be relaxed.

This must concern our MP Kevin Hollinrake, who has repeatedly said he would only support fracking if monitored by “gold standard” regulation.

I hope we can look forward to public reassurances from Mr Hollinrake, on his website and in our local newpapers, that he is actively opposed to any weakening of safeguards for our environment.

Anyone who still believes that fracking would bring financial benefits to Ryedale should reflect on how Mr Ratcliffe, who now resident in Monaco, became the UK’s richest person.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton