Deadlock over Welsh forest rallying nears conclusion
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.