Man lives in car by side of A12

LIVING in a small car in a lay-by beside the busy A12 is hardly likely to appeal to anyone.

Richard Smith

LIVING in a small car in a lay-by beside the busy A12 is hardly likely to appeal to anyone.

You have lorries thundering past your window day and night, your nearest toilet is a mile up the road, and you cook animals killed by vehicles.

There is only just room to balance the cooking stove on the passenger seat while the rest of the car and the boot are filled with documents, a pillow, clothes and treasured possessions.

Your only entertainment is the car radio and your thoughts about life in the 21st century.

You worry about trying to keep the car clean and tidy and chasing away the mindless members of the public who pelt the Ford Fiesta with stones or steal from the vehicle.

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But that is the sort of life chosen by a father in his 50's - a jobless landscape gardener who is disillusioned with the Government and heartbroken that the precious Suffolk countryside is being slowly taken over by new homes.

The man, who declined to be named, told yesterday of his alternative lifestyle and life on the road - although it remains unclear why he has decided to adopt this approach.

Born and bred in east Suffolk, he said he had been living rough in Southwold before he decided to park his car on the A12 north of the seaside resort.

He walks or drives into Wrentham to do some shopping and sleeps in his car, although during the warmer summer nights he said he was glad to find a cooler spot in the fields.

The gardener enjoys doing research into meteorology and the effect mankind is having on the weather systems by building developments throughout the world.

He is aware of the Human Rights Act and says he is doing nothing wrong by living beside the main road and he has been looking for work.

However, his presence is beginning to cause concern among villagers in nearby Frostenden and Wrentham.

Some people are finding it difficult to understand his motives for living there, but one villager defended him and said: “I feel it is a shame he cannot be left alone, although I do think he should live somewhere more appropriate than by the side of a busy road.”

Suffolk police is aware of the man's lifestyle and spokeswoman Anne-Marie Breach said he was not committing any offence.

She added: “We have made checks on him previously and there is no concern for his welfare, as such. We have advised him to seek help from other agencies.”