Dead­lock over Welsh for­est ral­ly­ing nears con­clu­sion

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

The fu­ture of ral­ly­ing on pub­li­cal­ly­owned for­est roads in Wales has taken a step closer to be­ing safe­guarded as the Mo­tor Sports As­so­ci­a­tion and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales dis­cuss a road­prepar­ing scheme with Ral­ly4wales.

The MSA and NRW have been in dead­lock over a new master agree­ment. NRW wants to in­crease the costs of ral­ly­ing in its forests by al­most 100 per cent as it looks to re­coup re­pair costs.

Now the two bod­ies have be­gun ne­go­ti­a­tions with Ral­ly4wales which put for­ward a busi­ness pro­posal to pre­pare and re­pair roads for ral­ly­ing in the Prin­ci­pal­ity ( MN, June 15). The road re­pairs would be car­ried out by civil engi­neer­ing firm Coed­wigaeth Pence­lyn, which would be con­tracted by the in­di­vid­ual ral­lies, not by the MSA or NRW.

A spokesper­son for NRW told MN: “We need to make sure that we can con­tinue to de­liver the wide range of ser­vices that the forests pro­vide to the peo­ple of Wales. To do this, we must re­cover the cost of re­pair­ing the roads af­ter ral­lies. We have had a con­struc­tive meet­ing with Ral­ly4wales and we con­tinue to work with the MSA to reach agree­ment. We hope to find a res­o­lu­tion that will al­low fans to en­joy the sport and en­sure the forests are pro­tected and main­tained for the fu­ture.”

Gov­ern­ing body the MSA con­firmed ne­go­ti­a­tions are on­go­ing.

“Ne­go­ti­a­tions are con­tin­u­ing be­tween the MSA and NRW, and those dis­cus­sions in­clude the pro­pos­als put for­ward by Ral­ly4wales,” said MSA chief ex­ec­u­tive Rob Jones. “Sep­a­rately but over­lap­ping, the MSA is in dis­cus­sion with Ral­ly4wales. All par­ties are aware of the need for the ear­li­est pos­si­ble res­o­lu­tion, what­ever this might be. Al­though an agree­ment for the rest of 2016 has not been reached at this time, it is hoped that there will be no need for fur­ther in­terim mea­sures and that a longer-term so­lu­tion can be found in the near fu­ture.”

MN un­der­stands that if the NRW and MSA ac­cepts Ral­ly4wales’ pro­posal, costs will re­main sim­i­lar to 2015.

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