MikeVeal wrote: ↑
Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:42 pm
There's nothing wrong with the Scottish system Pam, I was not suggesting that there was.
'The Scottish system is broadly what BC are calling for.
It is British canoeing's language that I found fault with. I do not want any new rights, I don't want anyone to renegotiate the rights that I already have as a paddler. From the other threads on this forum, I think my view is broadly representative of the paddling community.
This forum is one source of opinion. Another, the recent BC consultation, showed that of those who responded (about 670 I believe) over 98% were in support of the proposed direction. The WoW FB page, dedicated to campaigning for legislation similar to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, has over 4,000 supporters, and over 3,000 signed the WoW petition for this legislation in 2016.
The idea of "Enshrining existing rights" is bull. We believe we have a legal right, we do not need new legislation to enshrine anything. The right already exists in law.
I agree that the right exists in law, but that does not stop many of us from being prevented from exercising that right by fear of challenge.
We may know we have the legal right, but that does not mean that if we do nothing we will have it for ever. Also, not everyone wants to have to argue the case every time they go out on the water, particularly if they have children with them.
You may have access to and egress from the rivers you paddle, in places that are convenient to you, but not everyone is that lucky, and not everyone wants to paddle rivers.
It's like asking for new legislation to enshrine your right to cycle on the highway. It simply isn't needed, you already have that right.
The difference is that your right to cycle on the highway is clearly set out in the highway code, which is binding in law on all users.
Worse, it gives anyone who opposes your existing rights a chance to lobby for the new legislation to impose restrictions that were not present in the existing legislation. It is a very foolish and dangerous thing to do.
They already have that chance. There have been calls for legislation to restrict canoeing. Scotland's existing access came under increasing pressure, before they passed new legislation to enshrine the rights they already had, along with new rights to enhance the enjoyment of those. IMO it is much more 'foolish and dangerous' to be complacent about the situation until it may be too late.
What we do need is confirmation that our interpretation of the law is correct, as our view is disputed.
I agree that would help considerably. Both Welsh and Westminster governments have so far refused to go down this route.
Only if that battle is lost should we seek new legislation.
I don't see much likelihood of that battle being lost, but in that event, I wouldn't fancy our chances...
Maybe we will have to agree to differ!