The reported sinkhole in Malton earlier this evening (Thursday) is a reinstatement trench completed by utility contractors that has failed

 Cllr Keane Duncan said it was affecting just one half of the road.

"This will now be cordoned off, meaning the other half of the road will remain open for access to homes and businesses. The area will be reinspected by highway engineers in the daylight.

“Northern Gas Networks and North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service have investigated the smell of gas. This is not at a level for concern and they have concluded there is no risk to the public.

“Malton Fire Station will continue to relocate two fire appliances and their swift water rescue boat as a precaution. This will also be reassessed in the morning.

“Works to remove the concrete blocks from Norton Road is scheduled to commence shortly. The road will be closed to traffic but open to pedestrians. There is also a meeting scheduled for the morning to discuss Church Street and ways this can be reopened.”

Earlier  Cllr Duncan appealed for calm and provide reassurance to the public during an emerging but potentially serious situation right now.

“Groundwater is flowing through/under the road at the Sheepfoot Hill/Castlegate junction. The road has dipped here significantly and a sink hole has opened up. This is roughly the size of half of the carriageway. There is a strong smell of gas in this location right now and this is being investigated.

“I would also like to reassure the public that agencies are aware and a multi-agency response has been activated. Teams from Northern Gas, North Yorkshire Council and the Fire & Rescue Service have been deployed and are on scene.

“As a precautionary measure, it is likely that fire engines will be moved to Ryedale House to ensure they can continue to respond to any emergency calls."

He added: “I know this will be a concerning time. Please avoid speculation and standby for official information. I will issue further updates as soon as I receive them.”