RENEWED calls to change a Norton road junction to it previous layout were made at a public meeting last night.

Over 150 people attended the meeting, which was organised by members of the Norton and Malton Local Traffic Congestion.

An initial meeting was held in December in a bid to voice their frustration at changes to the Church Street junction, which was implemented by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) two years ago.

Darren Rushworth, from the Norton and Malton Local Traffic Congestion group, who chaired the meeting, said they had no political agenda.

"We don't want to point the finger or blame anyone, just solve this situation of the people of Malton and Norton," he added.

"Since the junction was changed whichever way you come to it there is a problem - before there were four ways to use the crossing - three were right and one was wrong and now all four ways are wrong."

The meeting heard from Network Rail level crossing manager Robert Havercroft, who said concerns had been raised by a member of the public in August 2016 to the authority, along with Ryedale District Council, British Transport Police and NYCC, over the safety of the junction.

This was subsequently taken to the highest level of NYCC and alterations to the junction carried out overnight that December.

"It was not Network Rail that requested the change," he added.

"The job of the signalmen is to separate people from trains and the feedback that I've had from the signalmen is that the change has been positive and has made their job easier."

County Councillor Keane Duncan, who represents Norton, said: "I am as frustrated as everyone else is in the room but we must remember there is a different view and some people think the change to the junction has been an improvement.

"It is not as simple as getting the junction changed back, this may not be the best approach and there may be other options such as a mini-roundabout of traffic lights."

Cllr Duncan said the county council was working on a computer traffic model, which will test the impacts of changing the traffic movements in Norton and Malton.

"Once this is complete the public will be able to have their say," he added. "The county council is aware of the strength of feeling among local people."

Questions were raised as to how a computer model could accurately demonstrate the traffic problems in the two towns.

Darren said: "Can a computer predict an accident," he added.

"It is a complete waste of money which could have been better spent elsewhere."

County Councillor Lindsay Burr, who represents Malton, said: "It is obvious that the county council does not really know what is going on in our little towns. They sit in their ivory tower with their computer models telling us what to do.

"Following the last meeting I got on the phone to the county council and told them that feelings were raging at the moment and it was time something was done about it. We do not want £50,000 spending on a consultation by people who do not know what they are talking about. We need to keep the pressure up."

Cllr Burr said she was prepared to lobby the county council with Cllr Duncan to change the junction back.

"We are your county councillors but we have got to have your mandate to put the pressure on other councillors and convince them this is wrong."

Cllr Keane said: "I am happy to work with anyone from any party to find a solution but the junction was not a councillors' decision it was made by officers."

Concluding the meeting, Darren said they were prepared to keep campaigning.

"We will keep pushing - we want this issue to snowball until something is done," he added.

For more information, go to Norton and Malton Local Traffic Congestion on Facebook.