Rights-of-way crusader vows to carry on

PROTESTING pensioner Peter Turtill today vowed to carry on his crusade against the closure of public footpaths and rights-of-way in Ipswich.Mr Turtill, 65, of Beatty Road, Ipswich, was caged in by builders for his own protection after staging a sit-in protest that brought building work to a halt at the Suffolk New College site.

PROTESTING pensioner Peter Turtill today vowed to carry on his crusade against the closure of public footpaths and rights-of-way in Ipswich.

Mr Turtill, 65, of Beatty Road, Ipswich, was caged in by builders for his own protection after staging a sit-in protest that brought building work to a halt at the Suffolk New College site.

And he is due to appear before magistrates in the town next Wednesday charged with criminal damage after moving a gate at a waterfront development which he says was blocking a public path.

But he said he will not be put off his campaign after he was caged on Thursday and plans to target the area again, along with other areas where paths have been blocked or built over at the Orwell Country Park and Christchurch Park areas.

He said: “I can't say too much about what I will be doing at the moment as I am on police bail. But the fight will go on.

“One of the main problems seems to be that there is no official map of public rights of way in the town.

Most Read

“In Orwell Country Park, many of the lanes and paths that I used as a boy are now gated off or closed to the public in some way - particularly to the disabled public.

“I am in a wheelchair and it is virtually impossible for me to get out into the countryside.

“I want to see the paths that have traditionally been used by people open again, and accessible to the disabled, and I want to see children playing in the countryside again like they did when I was young.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said that a definitive map of public rights of way in Suffolk is currently being drawn up.

He said: “It does not exist at the moment but it will do, although we do not have a date for when it will be completed yet.

“However there is a draft version which we would invite anyone who has an interest to come and view, and give us their comments.”

The draft map can be viewed by appointment with the county council's Countryside Access Team, who can be contacted by telephoning 01473 264774.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter