Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Thursday, 12 November 2009

Canoe petition inquiry continues

The sustainability committee on 12 November 2009 heard that a voluntary agreement to river access for all would not be a realistic option.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the Forestry Commission were giving evidence to the committee as a part of their inquiry into access to inland water.

According to Charles Mathieson, from the national park, access to riverside paths that are owned by single individuals work well, but when many individual landowners are involved, one objection can prevent access to river paths.

The committee also heard evidence from the Open Canoe Association, the Outdoor Swimming Association and other stakeholders.

They believe voluntary access creates confusion and a statutory agreement would give river users a proper code of conduct.

The committee began their inquiry in July 2009 after receiving a petition from the Welsh Canoeing Association calling for clarification on public access rights along inland water in Wales.

According to the organisation the current situation is confusing and can lead to bitter disputes between anglers and canoeists.

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