Campaigns must remain legal

PETER Turtill is a campaigner who has done much to highlight legal rights of way in Ipswich - and has helped ensure many by-ways remain open even if they are under threat from development.

PETER Turtill is a campaigner who has done much to highlight legal rights of way in Ipswich - and has helped ensure many by-ways remain open even if they are under threat from development.

But there is always the danger that someone consumed with campaigning zeal can let their enthusiasm run away with them - and that is why Mr Turtill ended up in South East Suffolk Magistrates Court.

In many ways district judge David Cooper was right to describe him as “admirable” and “public spirited” - there is no doubt that Mr Turtill broke the law for, as he saw it, all the right reasons.

But the fact is his action in ramming a locked gate was foolish and potentially dangerous - he could have injured himself and anyone nearby, and could have opened the way for people to get on to the dock and get caught up with large moving machinery.

His genuine concerns should be pursued in other ways - by talking to the authorities about his concerns about rights of way being blocked.

As the Waterfront, and the town's education quarter, is developed it is inevitable that some ancient rights of way will have to be changed - or at least suspended while construction work continues.

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Mr Turtill and his fellow campaigners need to accept that there will be changes to rights of way around the town - but hopefully in the end Ipswich will be a more vibrant and modern community.

IN THE wake of the tragic death of Joanne Dockett, it is not surprising that there are calls for traffic calming measures in the Whitton area.

While it would be wrong for the authorities to rush in changes in the wake of one tragedy and without a detailed look at the situation, in this case there have been concerns about traffic speed on the estate for some time.

From the comments that are coming from the borough, it would seem that councillors and officials are coming around to the idea that a lower speed limit and traffic calming would be appropriate on many roads on the estate.

If that is the case, then the work must go ahead - the authorities must not be able to stop the work simply on grounds of cost.

If the work is needed to keep the residents of the Whitton estate, especially the children, safe then the money must be found from the county's multi-million pound transport budget.

IPSWICH'S Civic Centre has been a landmark in the town centre for more than 40 years, but as it enters its last few months it is topped off with an alien mark . . . a Colchester United flag.

Of course, just like the team it celebrates, this flag will be going down in 2008 as the building is slowly demolished.

And of course Ipswich Town fans have no real antipathy with the local rivals from down the A12 - supporters of the Us might see things differently, but the Tractor Boys have always looked on Colchester United as rather an upstart young cousin.

Of course if someone had tried flying a Norwich City flag from the top of Civic Centre, everyone would probably have thought differently!