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Bury Free Press readers' letters to the editor

Access to the countryside and speed limits in the town centre are among this week's topics.


Much sympathy can be felt for the farmer George Gittus (Bury Free Press, April 23) in his battle against the despoilers of our countryside but, unfortunately, it is a microcosm of the human condition that’s so evident in our treatment of our planet at the moment.

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

All of us are compromised and complicit in one way or another; from enjoying the heating of our homes from gas central heating to even growing and burning bio-fuels and many common farming practices which are proving environmentally damaging.

However, his particular issues, as reported, don’t represent the actions of the majority of visitors to the rural areas who, during the periods of lockdown, have respectfully ‘invaded’ the countryside, with and without landowners’ permission, to walk the headlands, footpaths and, enjoying the Right to Roam and with slight trespasses, have benefited from the great outdoors. Some even incorporating litter-picking on their strolls.

Well-worn tracks have appeared where there were none before with much appreciation by those making them. Presumably most fly-tipping takes place under the cover of darkness or twilight hours (exacerbated by the closure of waste hubs recently no doubt and the cuts in litter-picking by councils as cost-cutting measures) and hare-coursing occurs on more remote farmland and thoroughbred grasslands, but in fact walkers, in numbers, must surely deter vandalism and act as bird-scarers from crops whether they are aware of doing so or not. So, subtly, there’s benefits for everybody, and by recognising these commonalities and being positive against the wilful ignorance of the despoilers it is hoped that the landowners don’t create their own ‘lockout’ on peaceful amblers and ramblers with whom they share the beauty and fecundity of the landscape and all it has to offer.

There was a call for a ‘Mass Trespass’ for April 24; whether this occurred locally is yet to be reported, but it commemorates the Kinder Scout event of 89 years ago that highlighted the injustices of restrictive access of ordinary people to their heritage. Perhaps an injustice of more local concern, done to the residents of Chevington by the owners of Ickworth estate at that time, about 200 years ago, could be righted in commemoration and the public right of way be re-installed along the River Linnet so providing a perfect access to The Park for walkers from Bury and eliminating the need for car use. This latter is just a thought with a vague remembrance of the Millennium Avenue Project for Bury that, unfortunately as an idea before its time, didn’t come to fruition . . . and in the same vein, a footpath along the Lark from Southgate to its source would be very welcome providing, of course, everyone obeys the Countryside Code and treats fellow users with respect.

Malcolm Searle, Bakers Lane, Bury St Edmunds


The council keep admitting they need to encourage people to shop in Bury St Edmunds, yet parking fees are always increasing.

Now Debenhams store is no more, how many similar stores will fail due to rates and other expenses?

Now people are able to shop online, how many in future will bother to shop in Bury?

Stores that don’t offer online trading, such as Primark, should be offered the Debenhams store building. Primark sells clothes at prices most families, and people on modest present-day wages, can afford.

If shops already trading in Bury can offer 70 per cent off their clothes during the year, are they being honest about their true cost?

Moreton Hall estate residents were hoping to have been able to shop at a large Aldi store, but sadly that did not go ahead. So people living there are forced to travel into Bury, mainly using their cars.

May I make a plea to the council – no more coffee shops in town, we have so many now, it’s a wonder they can all survive. We need more general shops, like Underwoods, Andrews and Plumptons and the Butter Market Co-op store years ago.

I am an old-fashioned individual who appreciated all Bury town used to have available for us all. How much more is going to be altered?

Hopefully, if this virus can be controlled, life as we once enjoyed may return. I remain optimistic this will be so – in the meantime, obey the rules and take care.

Vera Hughes, Bury St Edmunds


With the upcoming local elections in mind, it is depressing to think about the shameful neglect of the 20mph limits in our town.

Despite the arguments put forward by certain members of our council to the contrary, white lines and signage highlighting 20mph limits, do make a difference to speeding traffic.

This signage was an initiative strongly supported by councillors in the recent past but they now appear to have changed their minds.

Even though the police do not have the time to enforce these limits, most members of the public are law abiding but need reminding, at times, to slow down and most would surely be willing to respond to signage reminding them of this, especially when they understand the damage that speeding traffic does to the environment.

By slowing down traffic to a steady speed there is a reduction in the major cause of pollution which is the decelerating and acceleration along with idling of our traffic, all of which is more likely when traffic is travelling at an inappropriate speed. This says nothing of the fact that speeding traffic is not ideal conditions for encouraging walking and cycling which the council claims to be doing.

Some members of the council argue that too much signage is unattractive, and yet tolerate the unnecessary and often confusing signage that already exists around our town. We are left with a town where 20mph signs can be barely seen, white lines fading into oblivion, traffic sometimes travelling at frightening speeds and complaints by residents being ignored.

It is surely not right to put the appearance of our town above the health and safety of our residents.

If the council is truly serious about its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030, it should start by the cost-effective act of reinforcing signage for the 20mph limits.

Glynis Horton, Bury St Edmunds


The story of Dennis Davis being charged £11 for a 20 minute stop in Wilkinson’s car park (Bury Free Press, March 23) highlights the problem of this day and age where those in charge want to complicate the simplest things.

Let me explain in easy steps how other flexible-stay car parks work, just in case the bright spark who signed off this payment system has never come across one. It really is terribly simple:

1. Car driver takes ticket at barrier which rises to let car through.

2. Driver enters and parks.

3. Person/people from car enjoy their shopping, and perhaps a nice luncheon, and return to car.

4. Upon returning to car park driver inserts ticket in machine and pays the required amount for duration.

5. Car leaves the car park, the barrier rising upon presentation of paid ticket.

This tried and trusted method of parking in a town works seamlessly all over the world. One of the curses of the modern age is the desire of mankind to over think the simplest actions, rendering them unnecessarily complicated for no good reason.

Jill de Laat, Hargrave


I am sure all your readers are fully aware of the fact that the pandemic has caused havoc with children’s education and as a retired ex-maths adviser, I was willing to offer home catch-up tuition sessions in mathematics at £15 per hour until I discovered that I would have to pay income tax on my earnings.

I have written to my MP, Jo Churchill, to ask her to ask the PM if he would arrange for me not to have to pay this tax?

I am willing to do what ever it takes to help these children out but not if means being taxed. I also asked her that if she was not prepared to do this would she give me Boris’s phone number so I can contact him directly but as of yet, I have had no reply. I can only assume therefore, that either she is not concerned with the fact that many children have fallen behind or I am not rich enough to avoid paying taxes.

Peter Critchley, Pakenham

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