December 13 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
The joint-owner of an A14 lorry park has spoken of his “relief” after a group of travellers, who camped at his site and appeared reluctant to leave, yesterday ended the four-day dispute.
Karl Rout, joint-owner of Orwell Crossing Lorry Park, said he “reluctantly” allowed around 10 travellers to stay overnight at his premises on Friday after they told him their vehicle had broken down and they needed to care for their children.
However, Mr Rout said they refused to leave, having stationed their caravans at a section of the lorry park which “badly affected business”. They were later joined by families in seven more vehicles.
Police officers and Suffolk County Council (SCC) officials were called to the site. SCC traveller liaison officers, who spoke to both parties, helped the landowner issue a ‘request to leave’ to the travellers.
Mr Rout said he was at the County Court in Ipswich at around 1pm when he received a phone call from a member of staff telling him the travellers had suddenly decided to leave the lorry park.
“I was very relieved to hear that,” Mr Rout said.
“It was a rollercoaster day yesterday.
“They first came on Friday night. They said their vehicle had broken down and needed somewhere to stay because they had children to look after.
“They said they needed somewhere safe to stay and swore that they would leave as soon as the vehicle was mended. I reluctantly said they could stay here but they didn’t leave on the Saturday.
“I wasn’t happy about it. They were disrupting business. I reported it to the council and the police, who were very professional and kept a watching brief. We have had travellers here before who have just had a meal as normal and been on their way soon after.
“But these travellers said they were not going to go away so I had to look into getting a court order before they left en masse.”
A Suffolk County Council spokesman confirmed traveller liaison officers visited the site on Monday to speak to the travellers and support the land owner. The spokesman added: “They worked with the police to help the landowner serve a ‘request to leave’ on the travellers.”
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman confirmed officers liaised with staff at Orwell Crossing Lorry Park and the travellers before their departure.