SIGNS enforcing the experimental HGV ban on the level crossing between Malton and Norton are being installed this week.

Work, which started on Monday, will take place between 11pm and 5am over five nights.

The ban on goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes, was initially introduced on February 26, but the installation of the signs was postponed due to the bad weather.

Vehicles exempt include buses, agricultural vehicles and the emergency services, however, horse boxes or transporters over 7.5 tonnes will be prohibited.

Permits have also been offered to three businesses Tate Smith, Morrisons and Asda, in the immediate area.

The ban aims to prevent congestion and improve air quality in the area, particularly at Butcher Corner in Malton and will be initially monitored by Trading Standards officers.

However, concerns have been raised that the alternative routes will lead to increased congestion in other parts of the towns.

Norton county councillor Keane Duncan said: “A vocal minority are backing a HGV ban that is completely incompatible with our town’s mainly Victorian infrastructure.

“Without major bypass improvements, I continue to fear that the ban will have only negligible impact on air quality and defeat the entire object of the scheme.

“What is more, I remain gravely concerned about the knock-on effects of the scheme on other parts of town.

“I have passed on to highways a number of scenarios highlighting my concerns, and stressed the case for close monitoring and caution.

“Air quality needs to remain a top priority, but I think it will take more than this ban to help tackle it now, and in the future, as development generates more and more traffic. We need to take a much more radical look.”

Cllr Di Keal, town and district councillor for Norton West and founder member of Action On Traffic, Malton and Norton, welcomed the ban, but said: “This should just be seen as a starting point for other changes that are urgently needed in the towns to complement the ban.

“Action On Traffic has already submitted its suggestions to the county council, including possible one-way routes and improved traffic light co-ordination at Butcher Corner, and we would urge them to look at implementing other measures as soon as possible alongside the ban. “

“It is short-sighted to think the HGV ban alone will make a huge difference to congestion - it needs to be part of a much wider programme of change if we are going to see major improvements for local people.”