I STRONGLY support John Crosland’s (Letters, Gazette & Herald, November 27) call for safety improvements to the Norton railway crossing junction.

Not only is the traffic congestion getting worse, the junction is also a safety hazard for pedestrians, especially children and the elderly.

The traffic survey that I and Norton residents carried out this summer provided clear evidence of the problem and I personally witnessed many pedestrian near misses.

Sadly, when I presented this evidence at the recent BP planning inquiry, the Government Inspector showed little interest and granted permission for a new BP filling station and shop, which will make the situation worse.

The county highways authority seem utterly complacent about the problem and the district mutter platitudes without effect.

Perhaps we need a sustained campaign of action.

Michael Gwilliam, Norton

This is not true

JEAN McKendree quoted a number of untruths in her letter (Gazette & Herald, November 27), one of them being that in hydraulic fracture stimulation on gas wells pressures of “around 9,000 psi” or more are used.

This is not true. Some wells, dependent on their strength characteristics, fracture at low pressures, and other factors dependant on flow rates and fluid rheology and specific gravity dictate surface stimulation pressures.

In order to reduce stimulation surface pressures for specified treatment rates, friction reducers are used, these being in some cases the same as the water industry uses as a flocculant in treating water and sludges - polyacrylamide - the same as you find in your drinking water - some use guar gum as a viscosifier to suspend prop pant in the treatment fluid - yes the same guar gum you find in your condiments and thickened food products used everyday by all of us.

The list of “chemicals” put forward by all those opposed to hydraulic fracture stimulation is meant to scare readers, but on analysis you will see that the majority are household product components used everyday - xanthum gum, sodium bicarbonate, citric acid - you will find them in bread and soft drinks - and in hydraulic fracture stimulation fluids.

Don’t believe all you read from those against hydraulic fracture stimulation in Ryedale.

John Baxter, Pickering

Railway memories

Regarding the photo of Kirbymoorside (railway spelling) Station under “Memories of Kirkby” in the Gazette & Herald, November 20. This first appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Press edition of November 22, 1963.

The caption for it read: “Mr Norman Windress at Kirbymoorside Station looks into the future - which doesn’t look too bright for this branch line from York (Malton) which ends at Kirbymoorside probably in more senses than one. The line is scheduled for closure under the Beeching proposals. The eight (seven) - mile stretch between Kirbymoorside and Pickering was removed some years ago (1953/4) when (regular) passenger traffic was discontinued (from 2nd February 1953). While the days of this once busy York (Malton) - Kirbymoorside branch seem to be numbered, the length between Kirbymoorside and Nunnington was awarded this year’s prize length for the best maintained in the area” (My comments in brackets).

The pessimism, sadly, proved justified. The last official train was the thrice weekly freight from Malton on Friday, August 7, 1964, which arrived at Kirbymoorside at approximately 12.15pm and departed half an hour later. It was hauled by class J27 steam locomotive 65894, specially obtained from York shed for the occasion. It was subsequently preserved, and can now be seen in full working order on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Dismantling of the track and equipment at Kirbymoorside took place in March 1965.

Charles Allenby, Malton