A PEDESTRIAN and cycle bridge over the railway line, improvements to road junctions and a potential second platform at Malton railway station are among the plans outlined in a report on Malton and Norton’s traffic issues.

The major 157-page report, entitled the Malton and Norton Infrastructure and Connectivity Improvements Study, was discussed by Ryedale District Council’s policy and resources committee on Thursday.

It has been written by the consultancy firm WSP, and was commissioned by the authority, alongside North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), in December 2017, in response to the prospect of a doubling of train services on the railway line and the knock-on effects on congestion.

Cllr Luke Ives, committee chairman, said that traffic “plagues” the towns.

“This is the number one priority for Malton and Norton,” he said. “The thought of the number of trains doubling is terrifying to me because traffic plagues the town. The emissions plague the town.

“Ryedale District Council has been banging on the drum for years saying something needs to be done.”

The report contains a “preferred package” - the result of a consultation exercise run in April - with short-term, medium-term and long-term proposals.

Short-term goals include promoting walking and cycling for short journeys and improvements to bus service connectivity. The medium-term goals include a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists to access Malton station from the south, a new car parking strategy for the district and strategy to improve junctions.

The long-term goals include a second railway platform and improved junctions with the A64.

The report also contains a number of so-called “quick wins” - simple and inexpensive measures such as dropped-kerbs, pedestrian crossings and better signage.

Cllr Tim Thornton said that a lack of investment in Malton and Norton’s infrastructure is the source of its woes.

“If we are going to cram our fields full of developments we have to have the infrastructure,” he said.

NYCC is the authority responsible for traffic and highways, but Cllr Lindsay Burr said that local expertise should be involved, and described the current situation as a “merry-go-round”.

She said: “The locals know what’s needed. If they just asked us they could save a lot of money. The only people making money are the people charging us for these reports.

“This merry-go-round is spinning out of control, I think.”