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robert francis

Number of posts : 4333
Age : 42
Location : wales
Job/hobbies : 4x4s
4x4 : land rover discovery 200tdi
Registration date : 2007-12-29

PostSubject: to do with lanes   Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:30 am

hi all i just recived this, is there anyone intelligent enough to try and put things together and make a stand,

im not but im will to help as much as poss, maybe if we all went to a meet and voice our opinions
ive only red the email aint looked further into it but il try


Ref: Local Access Forum

I have mentioned this to one or two of the 4x4 / Off-Road / Green-laning clubs in the area before and so I'll apologise if you've heard this before.

Neath, Port-Talbot County Borough Council has a group named the Local Access Forum - they meet periodically to look at matters of Countryside Access within the NPT catchment. The group is 'serviced' by NPT Countryside Department and so I imagine the proceedings are somewhat skewed towards monied landowners rather than the rights of all members of the public.

Some of those sitting on the Forum will be;

Ÿ The landowners, (farmers, companies, etc.)

Ÿ The Forestry Commission may have representation.

- and probably other groups such as;

Ÿ Local walking clubs.

Ÿ Local equestrian groups.

There may be off-road groups, (4x4, motorcyclists, green-laning,), represented but I doubt it.

If the off-road interest is not represented within this forum - then this makes it much easier for the Council and the landowners to erode the access which such groups legally enjoy to various rights of way within their catchment, (the Sarn Helen Byway Road at Hirfynydd being a prime example of this). The obvious long-term upshot of this is that such routes will be lost sooner rather than later. OK - driving Byways isn't technically 'off-roading' as Byways are public roads, but it would probably be how most people would describe driving or riding a road such as the Sarn Helen BOAT.

This Forum needs people on it who will represent off-road, green-laning type interests. I imagine that the Forum, as a whole, will be very much against this particular sector and so anyone representing off-road interests would need to be forceful, bolshy & reasonably knowledgeable about all the rights, responsibilities, legislation, etc.

I don't imagine that you would need to be a NPT resident to sit on this forum, if you live locally to the area and use such resources you would probably qualify.

It is probably due to the lack of such representation that the Council has been able to produce a ROWIP, (Rights Of Way Improvement Plan), which is about as anti off-roading as it could possibly be. The only mention of 4x4 vehicles & rough-terrain motorcycles is in reference to the nuisance they pose on Byway roads and preventing them from driving / riding the NPT byways if complaints continue, (these complaints duly provided by the landowners who wish to charge for vehicular useage & those walkers who don't like traffic using byway roads).

The gatekeeper to the Local Access Forum is Clive Williams. Mr Williams is unlikely to be a friend of off-road pursuits enthusiasts, (excepting those who give handfuls of ££notes to the landowners), and may attempt to sidestep any requests by off-road representation to be included on the forum. [ Stated without prejudice to any party. ]

Contact details;

Mr Clive Williams - Principal Countryside Access Officer

Environmental Directorate, NPT Council

The Quays, Brunel Way

Baglan Energy Park

Briton Ferry, Neath

SA11 2GG

email: c.williams8@npt.gov.uk

Tel: (01639) 766525

So, if there are any scrappers out there with a copy of the Highways Act ...


Chris Williams



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