RYEDALE District Council has unanimously resolved to start pushing for a raft of improvements to traffic systems in Malton and Norton - in conjunction with North Yorkshire County Council - before the doubling of train services begins in December 2019.

At a meeting of full council on Thursday night, Cllr Luke Ives moved that the authority endorse the new ‘Malton and Norton Infrastructure and Connectivity Improvements Study’, written earlier this year by consultants WSP.

The report’s recommendations will be developed by a group of officers from both the district and county authorities in the so-called Malton and Norton Connectivity Working Group.

Members also agreed to push forward the report’s ‘quick wins’; small measures which include a dropped kerb on Norton Road, a pedestrian crossing between the bus station and the railway station, and provision of advanced stop lines and filter cycle lanes at key junctions and on routes to schools.

As part of discussions, several councillors expressed frustration at the pace of action, particularly from other bodies.

Cllr Tim Thornton said: “This one just seems to go round and round. Brambling Fields was supposed to improve air quality and congestion and years later we’re still struggling with that. Everything that we do to help congestion moves it somewhere else.”

Cllr Di Keal asked what can be done to start moving things forward. “We’ve discussed this for years and years. This council needs to put a lot of pressure on our partners to make this happen.”

Cllr Luke Ives said: “Because it’s not our statutory responsibility we don’t always have the powers or funding that allow us to progress quickly. We’ve saved considerable reserves over the years but the money this council has got is a drop in the ocean compared with what’s needed.”

Air quality issues were also raised earlier in the meeting with a public question about plans for a new livestock market near Eden Camp. Simon Thackray asked how HGV traffic from Broughton Road might be prevented from worsening the air quality in Wheelgate.

Chairman Cllr Michael Cleary said: “The relocation of the market to Eden Camp would result in a redistribution of livestock market traffic across the local highway network. It is not unreasonable to assume that the location of the new facility would remove a significant proportion of the existing livestock market traffic in the Air Quality Management Area.”