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Thread: WAG review. Access in Wales

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lochwinnoch, Scotland
    Journal Entries

    Default WAG review. Access in Wales

    Bob Andrews asked me to post this for him. He received it from the WCA


    Embargoed until 00:01hrs April 15, 2009

    Access to inland water in Wales is a right of equity and social justice

    The current situation regarding rights to inland water in Wales is confusing, untenable and unworkable; there should be the same right of public access as there is in Scotland, according to the National Assembly for Wales's Petitions Committee.

    "The rivers of Wales are a natural 'gift' that everyone should have the right to enjoy," said Committee Chair, Val Lloyd AM.

    "Access should not be based on the vagaries of permissions bestowed or ability to pay, but on the fundaments of equity and social justice.

    "We believe there should be the right of non-motorised access to inland water in Wales as there is in Scotland."

    Val Lloyd made these comments as the Petitions Committee launched its report into a petition received from the Welsh Canoeing Association.

    Welsh canoeists are calling for public access rights along inland water to be clarified and for there to be a statutory right of access in line with what has already happened in Scotland.

    After a short inquiry, the Committee has formed the view that the Land Reform (Scotland) Act has clarified the situation in Scotland.

    "We believe that the clear balance of rights in Scotland has inherently moved the access debate forward onto a more productive footing," the Committee Chair added.

    "Different parties in Scotland have been able to leave behind cul-de-sac positions concerning who has which legal rights on their side.

    "We therefore suggest it provides a useful basis from which a unique Welsh model may be developed."

    The main recommendations of the Petition Committee's report are:

    - that a further more wide ranging inquiry be carried out by one of the National Assembly's Scrutiny Committees with a view to bringing forward legislation in this area, to which all stakeholders would have the opportunity to submit evidence.

    - that a full scrutiny inquiry should also consider introducing a mandatory code to accompany the legislation in order that a new right of access along inland water in Wales can be managed and regulated, including some attempt to develop an identification system for regular water users.

    The Petitions Committee will now be writing to the Chairs of both the Sustainability Committee and the Communities and Culture Committee to ask whether one of them wishes to take forward the suggestion of a full scrutiny inquiry.

    The full report of the Petitions Committee's short inquiry into Access along Inland Water can be viewed via the following link:

  2. #2


    This made it to the BBc wales Today this evening... but as usual all that was presented were two polarised views- fishermen moaning about 'canoeists' and kayakers moaning about 'fishermen'.

    I suspect it will be a long hard struggle to find a way forward.
    Obscured by Clouds

    Clipper Prospector 16

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Deepest darkest Wales


    Quote Originally Posted by Obscured by Clouds View Post
    I suspect it will be a long hard struggle to find a way forward.
    You may be right, but I think there's some hope

    There are a LOT of places with the possibility of wins for both anglers and paddlers - the number of Welsh Water locations which would fish better from some kind of canoe than they ever will from the bank...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Obscured by Clouds View Post
    I suspect it will be a long hard struggle to find a way forward.
    It's a start...., let's hope England follows quickly...

  5. #5


    It is a start and there are enough in the assembly who are pro- access to move it forwards... but some entrenched attitudes need to be changed, and some of our more ninja-like kayakers [in the main] need to change tactics IMO
    Obscured by Clouds

    Clipper Prospector 16

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