Cam­paign plans to re­pair stages for ral­ly­ing in­stead of NRW

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Jack Benyon

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.

For­est roads could be looked af­ter by R4W

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