Brambling Fields junction upgrade was carried out to reduce traffic congestion and pollution in the centre of Malton, in order to free-up ‘air space’ to facilitate the large scale development proposed in the Ryedale Plan. The project cost Ryedale and North Yorkshire tax payers £6 million pounds (plus interest), and the junction opened in September 2012.
The idea was ‘sold’ to Ryedale District Council elected members (Representing the people of Ryedale) by Ryedale District Council officers (Representing their own interests), on the basis that it would reduce traffic movements at Butcher Corner, Malton by 33%, improve air quality to within EU limits, and improve road safety for pedestrians.
So why the fuss?
The junction was designed to operate alongside, and in conjunction with, a series of ‘complimentary measures’. [The spelling of the word complementary leaves a lot to be desired] These measures included (and still include) restricting the movement of HGVs in the centre of Malton, by forcing the most heavily polluting diesel engine vehicles to use the new Brambling Fields junction to access the A64. This particular ‘complimentary measure’ is described as critical in the Ryedale Plan but, whilst it was eventually implemented six and half (6.5) years after the opening of the junction (in February 2018), it is not policed and is regularly flouted. This makes scientific analysis of its effectiveness almost impossible.
The predicted but hushed-up consequence of the Norton level crossing HGV restriction has been to displace and re-route the HGVs onto unsuitable narrow roads past two primary / junior schools. The most amazing fact to leach from this ‘sure-fire-winner’ traffic reduction measure, is (according to the words of a senior RDC planning officer), that the famously congested Butcher Corner in Malton is “still over capacity”, and will remain over capacity. Consequently, traffic movements through the most congested junction in Malton (Butcher Corner) have NOT reduced, despite the cost of £6million pounds of Ryedale and North Yorkshire taxpayers money. What’s more, the ‘essential road safety measures, for the enhanced safety of pedestrians’, got shelved. The pedestrian safety measures were VERY important when the officers were ‘selling the idea’, but were binned when the ‘penny-dropped’ that adding an extra phase to traffic lights at Butcher Corner would cause more pollution by slowing down the congested traffic even further. This was a well-thought-out £6 million pound project!
Meanwhile, Ryedale District Council has ‘carried-on regardless’, and approved large-scale developments in Malton, Norton and Old Malton, but has not dealt with the existing traffic congestion and air pollution. Ryedale District Council and North Yorkshire Count Council are jointly responsible for maintaining the illegal level of pollution in Malton town centre and are forcing the residents and their children to breathe dangerous levels of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2).
They should give us our money back!
Brambling Fields Forever! is performed by Stanley Bad.
Words by Stanley Bad.
Music by John Lennon.
Filmed by Simon Thackray in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.
Brambling Fields Forever! is a Hand In A Bucket Of Sh*t Production.
Copyright © Hand In A Bucket Of Sh*t Productions 2015
You might also enjoy Ryedale Flood Defence 3D Working Model. The long-awaited practical answer to flood protection in Malton and Norton, this revolutionary device is currently being tested by engineers from Yorkshire Water. Watch this space!
for Philip Hobsbaum
Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full,
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.
Source: Death of a Naturalist (1966)