Safety versus the right to roam?

LEDBURY'S MP, Bill Wiggin believes that safety, and the privacy of landowners, must be put before the 'right to roam' in the British countryside.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, June 23, he said: “Traditional rights of way cannot be held to be a greater priority than the safety of those using them.”

He spoke in favour of changes to enable rights of way to be altered if there is a consideration for the safety of the walker or for the privacy of the homeowner.

He said: "I am alarmed at the risks created by footpaths passing through farmyards. A 21st-century farm is dangerous. Equipment is often operated at higher speeds, is heavy and has blind spots. Livestock can be unpredictable, territorial and easily provoked, for instance by a dog.

“Nobody—neither walkers nor farmers—should be forced to walk or work in a position where their safety is at risk.”

Comments (7)

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7:03pm Wed 25 Jun 14

megilleland says...

This problem has been debated every year since the National Parks Act 1949 was introduced to:

"An Act to make provision for National Parks and the establishment of a National Parks Commission; to confer on the Nature Conservancy and local authorities powers for the establishment and maintenance of nature reserves; to make further provision for the recording, creation, maintenance and improvement of public paths and for securing access to open country, and to amend the law relating to rights of way; to confer further powers for preserving and enhancing natural beauty; and for matters connected with the purposes aforesaid".

Further Acts followed, but the local authorities have never addressed the problems of obstruction or provide adequate funds to maintain the network".

I think the health and safety issue needs to be addressed by the landowing community to protect their employees from the dangers of machinery and livestock. This is Bill Wiggin bleeting on about keeping people in towns were they belong and keeping the countryside to themselves. This government is on it's on road to control us and this is one small part of their agenda. I think I'll stay in bed and keep him happy.
This problem has been debated every year since the National Parks Act 1949 was introduced to: "An Act to make provision for National Parks and the establishment of a National Parks Commission; to confer on the Nature Conservancy and local authorities powers for the establishment and maintenance of nature reserves; to make further provision for the recording, creation, maintenance and improvement of public paths and for securing access to open country, and to amend the law relating to rights of way; to confer further powers for preserving and enhancing natural beauty; and for matters connected with the purposes aforesaid". Further Acts followed, but the local authorities have never addressed the problems of obstruction or provide adequate funds to maintain the network". I think the health and safety issue needs to be addressed by the landowing community to protect their employees from the dangers of machinery and livestock. This is Bill Wiggin bleeting on about keeping people in towns were they belong and keeping the countryside to themselves. This government is on it's on road to control us and this is one small part of their agenda. I think I'll stay in bed and keep him happy. megilleland
  • Score: 2

8:59pm Wed 25 Jun 14

Wattsy.no1 says...

Good old Bill, being as your Tory pals own most of Herefordshire, help them to keep the people in their place, doff their caps or knuckle their foreheads. I expect you'll be asking The Council to put up loads of signs "GET OFF MY LAND"
Good old Bill, being as your Tory pals own most of Herefordshire, help them to keep the people in their place, doff their caps or knuckle their foreheads. I expect you'll be asking The Council to put up loads of signs "GET OFF MY LAND" Wattsy.no1
  • Score: 3

9:40pm Wed 25 Jun 14

probono says...

What an idiot you are, Bill Wiggin, there are far more walkers in your constiuency than famers, albeit the farmers own most of the land. Herefordshire, We were reminded by Roger Phillips when Foota nd Mouth was at its height that the Herefordshire economy relies on tourists and they come here to walk the paths and see the countryside. Well done Bill, you have just alienated many people who might have voted for you when they come in from their daily walks.
What an idiot you are, Bill Wiggin, there are far more walkers in your constiuency than famers, albeit the farmers own most of the land. Herefordshire, We were reminded by Roger Phillips when Foota nd Mouth was at its height that the Herefordshire economy relies on tourists and they come here to walk the paths and see the countryside. Well done Bill, you have just alienated many people who might have voted for you when they come in from their daily walks. probono
  • Score: 5

11:51pm Wed 25 Jun 14

WYSIATI says...

Let's hope that Bill doesn't actually make any headway on this.

By all means ensure that landowners take proper care to ensure that rights of way are clear, safe and that any dangerous livestock is kept out of fields with those rights of way in them. At the same time all of us walkers can help by being responsible and not inviting this sort of attack.

Presumably Bill is also supporting the attempt that is underway to reduce access to the river Wye - going after the canoes and attacking an historic right of access in the name of fishing.

Perhaps if any re-routing was put in front of a group of walkers to decide - and the aim would be at least as much access and a better route - from the perspective of the walkers/cyclists/hor
se riders.
Let's hope that Bill doesn't actually make any headway on this. By all means ensure that landowners take proper care to ensure that rights of way are clear, safe and that any dangerous livestock is kept out of fields with those rights of way in them. At the same time all of us walkers can help by being responsible and not inviting this sort of attack. Presumably Bill is also supporting the attempt that is underway to reduce access to the river Wye - going after the canoes and attacking an historic right of access in the name of fishing. Perhaps if any re-routing was put in front of a group of walkers to decide - and the aim would be at least as much access and a better route - from the perspective of the walkers/cyclists/hor se riders. WYSIATI
  • Score: 4

6:33am Thu 26 Jun 14

probono says...

It seems he had to withdraw it . Full details from Hansard.

http://www.theyworkf
oryou.com/debates/?i
d=2014-06-23a.68.2&m
=40333
It seems he had to withdraw it . Full details from Hansard. http://www.theyworkf oryou.com/debates/?i d=2014-06-23a.68.2&m =40333 probono
  • Score: 0

1:22pm Thu 26 Jun 14

Hereford person says...

Pity this idea was not around when Bungalow Bill roamed to Tory Leominster for a safe seat.
Pity this idea was not around when Bungalow Bill roamed to Tory Leominster for a safe seat. Hereford person
  • Score: 1

8:17am Fri 27 Jun 14

probono says...

He does seem out of touch with his most of his constituency, and although he describes himself as a farmer in the House of Commons, I feel sure he is not up before 6 feeding the chickens, or baling hay at dusk before the rain comes. How many cahead of cattle does he have, is it 3 or 4 ?
He does seem out of touch with his most of his constituency, and although he describes himself as a farmer in the House of Commons, I feel sure he is not up before 6 feeding the chickens, or baling hay at dusk before the rain comes. How many cahead of cattle does he have, is it 3 or 4 ? probono
  • Score: 1
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