Communities must not be forgotten

IT'S a road many of us love to hate, but the A14 is Suffolk's lifeline.So when any changes are considered, the authorities responsible for the road have to take account of the fact that whatever they do will have an effect not only on the motorists using the road at any point in time but also on the communities that it links.

IT'S a road many of us love to hate, but the A14 is Suffolk's lifeline.

So when any changes are considered, the authorities responsible for the road have to take account of the fact that whatever they do will have an effect not only on the motorists using the road at any point in time but also on the communities that it links.

And nowhere is more dependent on the A14 than Felixstowe - it is the end of the road and is the only way in or out of Britain's largest container port.

Any changes to the A14, such as the daft idea of imposing tolls on the Orwell Bridge, would have a major impact on the resort.

It would not necessarily cut it off from the rest of the world but it would make journeys to and from Felixstowe more problematic.

Changes to the road would also have a major impact on other communities like Trimley, Kirton, Levington and Nacton.

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And of course introducing tolls would be likely to have a major impact on Ipswich itself if drivers were to leave the A14 to avoid charges and add to congestion around the town.

Of course the A14 must evolve. There must be improvements as traffic movements demand. The Copdock Mill interchange needs major improvements to handle increased traffic and the new road to iron out the Haughley bends cannot come fast enough.

But when radical changes to the way the road is managed are considered, the Highways Agency must bear in mind the needs of everyone whose lives can be affected by the road.

ONE of the lingering fears about the development of the Ipswich Waterfront is the concern that there will be little to attract people to the area.

That is why the news that the Red Rose Chain is to get a new home in the Witchbottle Theatre is so welcome.

This will provide a magnet to bring people to the area - and once they are drawn to theatre productions they may also explore the restaurants, bars, and cafés that will open there over the next few years.

It is great news for the whole Waterfront, and we look forward to seeing this innovative theatre group's first production in its new home.

COMMUNITY wardens fulfil a vital role in an urban area like Ipswich, helping to make areas safer and more pleasant for residents to live in.

And we are delighted today to be able to report on how a trio of wardens managed to prevent two fires from causing serious damage to blocks of flats.

They both reacted quickly after hearing smoke alarms, and in both cases the fire service was able to deal with problems before they became too serious.

It was their presence - and their knowledge of how to prevent a potential disaster - which meant that we were left reporting a good news story about fire prevention rather than a tragedy.

Their work is invaluable, and the entire community warden team deserves the thanks of the people it serves.

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