THE North Yorkshire Moors Railway’s Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey Appeal is a great initiative surrounded by some very impressive publicity.

The railway can’t exist without new bridges, people should be able to enjoy the ride however mobile they are and young people need apprenticeship schemes. But does it need the Pickering carriage shed and repair facilities? Yes, but not where they’re proposed nor in the form suggested.

The 160 metre long carriage stable is designed to stop criminal damage to those wonderful vintage carriages. How can an open sided building without doors do that?

Worst of all, a huge part of the Newbridge valley - two-and-a-half football pitches worth, actually - will be turned into an industrial development similar to that of the NYMR depot at Newbridge Crossing.

The planned water meadow site is so cramped that the access rails serving one shed will have to run through the other, removing several carriage parking spaces.

Yet, next door to this greenfield site is the perfectly concealed Newbridge Quarry with a large, flat, worked - out area which used to be rail connected. It would easily accommodate the large secure buildings that are needed. Even security lighting would be no problem. Shouldn’t the railway be talking to the quarrying company and the landowners, the Duchy of Lancaster?

The new sheds, added to the existing carriage repair sheds at Pickering station, a large new car park, the semi derelict former fish farm sheds and Newbridge railway depot will finally turn what was once a beautiful rural valley walk into a mile of industrial squalor.

And if a better site for the sheds aren’t found, NYMR travellers will find that Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey has a very disappointing ending.

E Blyth, Wrelton

Take responsibility

I AM very disappointed with Cllr Sanderson’s letter about the protests at the Malton meeting of the North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) Ryedale Area Committee.

She delights in ignoring the valid concerns of her constituents (whom she dismisses as “anti-frackers”). Rather than take shelter behind the processes of committee procedure, she and her fellow councillors should take some responsibility for what is happening at KM8.

Fracking in Ryedale was given the green light by a planning committee that contained no Ryedale representatives. Since then our local Conservative councillors on NYCC have failed to address the issue, answer the concerns of Ryedale people or even visit the site. They should find out what is being done in their name.

Rosalind Field, Gilling East

Uneasy feeling

RECENTLY Theresa May has made it known that “we” (the tax-payers of the UK) are prepared to pay the EU “up to £40 billion”.

This is so that trade terms negotiations can begin. Such a sum is more than double our current gross annual contribution to the EU budget. Is it not co-incidental that the figure bandied about, by the same sources, in August for the same deal was £36 billion.

Suspicious, then, that one may learn that over the years the Government of the UK has deposited the accumulated sum of £35 billion of tax payers cash in the European Investment Bank (EIB), about 16 per cent of the total deposits held.

When told, in recent negotiations that the UK want their cash back the Juncker-Barnier response was that it could take up to 50 years to achieve this. The EIB has admitted that it has accumulated very large sums of “irrecoverable losses”. Not a good advertisement for an investment bank. We also have £55.5 million deposited with the European Central Bank which pays an interest of -0.4 per cent (yes, you read it, minus).

I could be wrong, but I have the uneasy feeling that we are seeing a case of EU wins – tax-payer pays. So what’s new?

David Loxley, Hartoft

Protest peacefully

RECENT weeks have seen the deployment of many police officers at the Kirby Misperton fracking site at great expense. I have heard many reasons why they should not be there, but nobody ever seems to state the obvious. The stupidity of some anti-fracking “professionals” blocking the road. No anti-frackers, no police. Simple.

But no. I, and some of my colleagues, travel this road every day. When a “protester” blocks the road we have to make miles of detours. We cannot understand why it takes several hours to clear. We are engineers with a decent amount of intelligence, but because of health and safety they can’t be moved, we are told.

If they respect the views of the government in other countries to ban fracking, then why don’t they respect and accept the views of our government to allow it?

I have said this before, but for those of you who refuse to listen, you have missed the boat. Legislation stops fracking, protesters don’t. 30,000-plus voters elected a Conservative MP who supports fracking.

I am not bothered one way or another about fracking, just as I am not bothered about the national grid having pylons splattered all over the countryside, or telegraph poles, mobile phone masts and giant wind turbines. Technology moves on to my advantage.

Fracking has government backing (bottomless money pit for the police), work has already started at the site, I have still got to get up and go to work every morning.

If you want to protest peacefully, that’s fine by me - but if you prevent people such as myself from travelling to, or returning from, work that’s a different ball game. This may well turn people against you instead of support for you - and you still won’t win.

Stephen Preston, Malton