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NERC - Action required


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The NERC bill was read in the House of Lords last night, I like many sat aghast at the ignorance displayed by many of our senior law makers – unbelievable.

It is difficult to offer definitive guidance at this point as to the true impact of NERC, that is simply because as it stands it is a poorly drafted piece of legislation, riddled with holes, that will inevitably be tightened up on final reading. This is undoubtedly a deliberate strategy to keep us quiet – as we will not want to publicise our understanding of the holes, and also keeps the anti’s quiet as they think they have won. Gets everyone off the governments back.

So what have we been doing – obviously keeping quiet on the holes, and will continue to do so, we expect few to be left unplugged but we are certainly not going to help them with this. We didn’t expect much from the House of Lords, the majority being landowners, any law that reduces public rights of way over their property would be supported, we do have a chance before the final reading in the commons. We have appointed a professional lobbying organisation to hammer the MPs to death with our arguments. This is an expensive process but we take the view – its all or nothing now.

An overview of NERC and its impact on us can be found on – www.glass-uk.org then click the link. This has been prepared by Ross Kennedy our legal expert.

What can you do?

There is a great deal firstly –

Get out there and drive the lanes, two reasons for this, it is fun and what we are all here for, and secondly user evidence (i.e. use of the lanes) will almost certainly become critical. So drive them and then most importantly RECORD IT. This is best done on our Wayfinder site - http://www.way-finder.co.uk and when recording it is the NUMBER OF PEOPLE that count, not the number of vehicles. Drive as many as you can, with as many people in the car and record it. For access to wayfinder you need to be a member of GLASS, if you are currently not we would welcome you on board the more the merrier at this point in time, or record your use on paper and send it to our head office.

Write to you MP – details of how to contact them on – www.locata.co.uk/commons all you do is enter your postcode and it will give full contact details. Not sure what to write? We will be posting example letters on the GLASS website – www.glass-uk,org

Continue to put in claims, the government has persistently made it look as if this is both a waste of time and adding to the problem, it is not. Claims may well become critical depending on how the bill finally settles down. Again details on GLASS site.

Speak with your local ROW officer, these will be at your county council offices, should all be on their respective web site. These guys are as anti NERC as we are, have a chat see if they need any lanes repairing, the GLASS lane maintenance program could support them, we would be happy to do so particularly if lane was to become recorded as a BOAT (Byway open to all traffic), you never know might just work.

Action must take place now, NERC is a serious threat, but it can be defeated, even if it passes through the commons un-amended, we have a contingency fund set aside for the final battle. Right now we really would welcome your support, if not a member, it is only £25, this could be the difference between laning or not after Christmas. If you are a member and would like to do more to help let us know, we are always glad of extra support.

Gary Lawes

GLASS press officer

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