HOW HIGGINS SHATTERED ISLE OF MAN RECORD IN MAD SUBARU
Campaign plans to repair stages for rallying instead of NRW
The Rally4wales campaign has submitted a proposal to take over the repairing of stages for rally events in Wales as the stalemate between the Motor Sports Association and Natural Resources Wales continues.
Previously, the MSA took a percentage of rally entry fees and paid NRW for looking after and repairing the roads used by rallies.
But earlier this year NRW confirmed it wouldn’t sign another master agreement with the MSA until its costs were covered. NRW claims that the money the MSA paid up until the last agreement expired on June 1 was £300,000 short of what it actually cost to repair the roads.
Now Rally4wales has put together a proposal with specialist road contractor Coedwigaeth Pencelyn, which is run by Richard Ceen, who has a rally test facility in Denbighshire.
The duo are proposing that they prepare and repair roads used on rallies using NRW land, providing NRW provide the forest for free.
While this may seem a poor deal for NRW, if its current deficit per year is correct it will alleviate the deficit and save almost one million pounds over three years.
Rally4wales campaign leader Jamie Edwards believes this could be the future of rally stage repairs.
“We had over 5,000 signatures on our petition to the Welsh Assembly,” he said. “Very soon, the matter will be debated in the Senedd (Welsh Assembly) itself, so we felt it vitally important that we presented an option to the current stand-off between NRW and MSA. Rally4wales is concerned about the implications of cost increases on the sport – so the proposal has been extensively researched and allows a realistic opportunity to control costs for the shorter and longer term future of the sport. Importantly, it also presents a significant potential cost saving to Natural Resources Wales, and would eliminate any public purse expenditure in Wales as a result. We firmly believe that this new model should form the basis of the future of how we maintain the sport in Wales and the rest of the UK for forest rallying.”
Edwards and Coedwigaeth Pencelyn – which already has all the necessary plant equipment to look after the roads – have presented the proposal to the MSA, NRW and various Welsh Assembly members from different parties in the hope that leading figures will back the proposal. Russell George, Assembly Member for Montgomeryshire, has already supported the scheme.