LETTERS: Travellers and traffic the recurrent theme

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon.

The caravans arrived at the Downham Road rugby ground on Tuesday and show no signs of leaving anytime soon. - Credit: Terry Harris

‘You need a better word than travellers’ 

I'm writing to complain about the Ely Standard's articles regarding travellers, in particular the article from earlier this month. 

Racism against the GRT community seems to be the last publicly acceptable form of racism.  

Your coverage of issues regarding travellers is full of stereotyping and conjecture, and is extremely narrow in its perspective.  

The council's provision for travellers is woefully inadequate - there are no official sites within Cambridge and very few in the surrounding area. 

The sentence in your article "The travellers who turned up are thought to be some of those displaced from other illegal encampments across east Cambridgeshire in recent days" is revealing. 

There are almost no 'acceptable' places for travellers to stop so of course if they are turned out of one location, they turn up in another!   

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Complaints are made that they leave litter, but there is no provision for refuse to be collected from travelling communities.   

Travellers are persecuted by the media and the community wherever they go, and if they feel  

disenfranchised and hostile to the community in return that is really no surprise.  Their traditional way of life is also about to be criminalised by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in September.  

 I would strongly urge you to reassess the tone and content of your coverage of issues regarding travellers - where are the voices of the GRT community for instance?   

Would any other group be talked about in this way without the right of reply?  

 As an experiment, perhaps take one of your articles and replace 'travellers' with another ethnic minority group and see if you would still be willing to publish it... 


Via email 

Thanks for the support – halfway there already 

Many thanks for highlighting our GoFundMe appeal recently following the difficulties we endured with “uninvited visitors” at Ely Outdoor Sports Association. 

 It’s a week past Friday since they left, so I thought I’d give you an update post the event. 

The coordinated efforts of the police, the council, a private security team and the collective support of all our member clubs kept the damage to a minimum, and only the tennis club suffered an actual break-in.  

We’ve since had a specialist cleaning company in to clear up the waste and mess they left behind. 

After a couple of visits from them, the pitch is on the way to being ready for use again, although frankly, in view of what was there, we’ll let nature continue the process for a bit! 

Once they’d left, we were able to resume most of our normal club sports and social activities almost straightaway, so we only suffered a few days of disruption to our calendar.  

Later this week, we’ll meet with the rugby and tennis clubs at EOSA to discuss contingency plans to prevent any potential repeat of this incident; as if to underline the need for this, just on Friday there was a report of another group on the move in the area! 

 However, the good news is that the local community has really pulled together: within just a week of launching our appeal the fund had already reached nearly half of the £6,000 costs incurred for 24-hour security, bailiff services, cleaning up and repairs.  

If that generosity continues, we’ll soon be able to go ahead with the improvement projects planned for this year at EOSA - we can keep you up to date as those projects become a reality. 

And thanks again for your feature. 


Ely Outdoor Sports Association 

Lost generation starts young  

I am pleased to agree with the principal of Kings School, John Attwater, when he says that those youngsters receiving exam results this summer are not the lost generation.  

Students have succeeded despite very difficult study conditions and shown exceptional qualities.  

My congratulations to students and teachers everywhere.  

Losses have been spread across generations. Elderly people dying prematurely. 

Lost good-byes as families and friends are kept apart from their loved one who face a lonely passing, notwithstanding the brilliant efforts of NHS staff.  

Undergraduates away from home for the first time isolating and experiencing a lonely introduction to their university experience from which they'd anticipated something so very different.  

If there's a lost generation at all, perhaps it's the youngest of us who will be it.  

Those for whom social play with peers is a large part of their development. Play that's been denied for chunks of time representing a large proportion of a young life.  

Motivation and determination don't apply in the same way to them. It is our primary school staff who manage the development deficit and credit should be given to them for their outstanding efforts.  


East Cambs 

Frustrated of Ely writes.... 

With regard to the recent report on the parking on Forehill, Ely. 

It seems to me that the issue is more about frustration and obstruction of the free flow of traffic; that is the main problem, regardless of the fact that double yellow lines are involved. 
That being the case, then I would mention Egremont Street, Nutholt Lane and Newnham Street, where legal parking causes just as much frustration and obstruction as Forehill.   

I would also add Lynn Road, where you have to weave in and out of parked vehicles on both sides of the road. 
I know these are all residential roads and residents have to park somewhere, but they are also major through roads in the city, in which parking is just as frustrating as Forehill. 


David Clark - Ely 

‘Monster tractors’ through my village  

I am one of the South Cambridgeshire District Councillors for Cottenham. 

In researching information about the Pretoria Energy operation at Chittering, I have just seen your article about the sustainable, peat-free fertiliser being produced by them. 

This is all very commendable if the process didn't result in monster tractors and trailers rushing along narrow village streets in Cottenham. 

I have received multiple complaints from residents who are subjected to a constant stream of these vehicles taking crops from fields to Chittering and then seeming to return the fertiliser to the fields. 

This is not normal rural, farming activity, this is grand scale industry.  

The carbon footprint of the product is claimed as low but does this take account of the transport and the misery suffered by the residents living in the path of the streams of vehicles? 

The vehicles are using roads never intended to carry such loads. Many of the houses are older and not able to withstand the constant shaking created by these enormous vehicles. 

I have tried without success to contact Pretoria Energy but they appear to be shy about giving out their telephone number. 

I am building up some video footage to demonstrate the nuisance to residents caused by this operation. 

Even if the energy provided by this operation is renewable and sustainable should this be at the cost of the quality of life of people living along the route being taken by these vehicles? 

Kind regards 


S Cambs councillor for Cottenham and Rampton 

Why we need national day for women

Would it be possible to call for a ‘National Day’ for women across the world to wear the Burqa as a sign of solidarity with the women of Afghanistan? 



Alternative views on road downgrading 

If the A1223 is downgraded it will be less repairs and more ruts, HGV companies and farms are based along these roads are going to use them. 


We live along the 16ft River Road; it can be a death trap if driven badly along it, especially during icy, winter days. 

Yet this road is a B road and the amount of traffic going along it wouldn't make any difference whether it was A, B or C road.....if …  


If you down grade this road there will be no money to repair it. 

The road in this region are already a disgusting state and there is nowhere the lorries can go if the A14 is shut so put your thinking heads on 

And you also want to sort out the grass verges; only cutting them twice a year is a joke. It so dangerous and putting lives at risk so think about that one 


Roads are barely getting repaired despite any money granted for the A status.  

Wicken has had a small section of the village repaired for the first time in 10 years and it is a poor quality job that is still not complete weeks later.  

The rest of the village is still in poor condition and the 1123 towards Padney and Upware and then Stretham is awful.  

I dpn’t know where the money is going but it’s not maintaining the 1123 where I live to A road standard.  

The Ely bypass is a much more suitable road for HGVs and will not cause the stress to residents. 


This would mean no gritting in the winter if downgraded to a B road; the A1123 already needs completely resurfacing....crazy idea! 


Well so far as I know lorries are allowed on B roads so what would be the point in doing it anyway?