COUNCILLORS are calling for measures to reduce congestion and improve safety in Malton and Norton.

Liberal Democrat councillors Di Keal and Steve Mason are calling on Ryedale District Council (RDC) to support plans for a new roundabout near Huttons Ambo on the A64 in a further bid to reduce congestion and improve safety in Malton and Norton.

The councillors will put a motion to a RDC meeting tomorrow (Thursday) asking that council officers be requested to work with North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and the Highways Agency to “explore the possibility of building a roundabout at the Huttons Ambo junction on the A64”.

The motion also calls for a HGV ban along Highfield Road, between Peasey Hills Road and Hawthorn Avenue, outside Malton Primary School and St Mary’s RC School.

Cllr Keal said: “We know that the major junction that has been discussed at the York Road end of the Malton bypass would take many millions to deliver and realistically is unlikely to be built for at least 10 years. Our solution is a simpler roundabout slightly further up the A64 at the first Huttons Ambo junction where there is ample room.

“Trucks have no place near children - it is an accident waiting to happen - so we are also calling for a HGV ban near the primary schools.”

Cllr Keal added: “There are other routes available for drivers to use. Ultimately, we need to take HGVs out of our towns all together and we see this as a step in the right direction.”

Cllr Steve Mason said: “We have repeatedly been told by parents how dangerous it is near the Malton primary schools when they are trying to drop off and collect their children due to the numbers of HGVs that use Highfield Road now that the ban is in place across County Bridge.

“Ever since I can remember, there has been a call for east west access to the A64 from the York Road end of Malton, yet currently it seems that the likelihood of that happening is further from reality than ever before.

“The genius of our proposal is that it can be done at the fraction of the cost.

“We can then protect our schools and town centres from heavy traffic and pollution by allowing access to the bypass from both sides of Malton and Norton.”

Meanwhile, fellow district and Malton County Councillor Lindsay Burr said she had secured an experimental ban on HGVs using Highfield Road when children were going to and leaving school.

She said: “After months of behind-the-scenes discussions with officers, I’m pleased to recommend taking this important new scheme forward.

“Safety of children is our number one priority so the restriction at these dedicated hours is one way of mitigating the problem.

“Although it is not perfect, it’s a big step forward.

“I have some slight concerns regarding the policing of this ban but I’m sure residents will help police this by using their cameras on their phones to report perpetrators.

“The only real solution to all our traffic problems in town is to invest, invest, invest.”

Richard Marr, Highways Area manager, said: “We have been looking at ways to alleviate the impact of HGV traffic which is using Highfield Road/Pasture Lane to bypass the town centre.

“This has led to safety and congestion concerns around the start and end of the school day.

“An experimental weight restriction during the school drop off/pick up period is one action being considered.

“We have been discussing possible timings with the primary schools and looking at the roads which would be covered by the restriction.”