||26 Jun 2011 10:30
Catalonia to ease trail riding restrictions - perhaps!
Each of Spain's seventeen Autonomous Regions has the responsibility and clout to manage its own environment, and Catalonia has been particularly harsh on the off-road brigade since a 1995 law forbade bikes to ride trails of less than 4 metres in width or in groups of more than three riders.
The new regional goverement has proposed to ease these restrictions and produce a definitive map of permissible trails, at the expense of demanding that riders have a 'Green Card' permit.
But there are lots of snags:
- the new regulations are being bundled up in a raft of over 80 measures - the so called 'Llei Omnibus' - which is introducing sweeping changes to a whole host of areas; basically introducing laissez-faire politics into the social fabric of the 'nation' as a whole, including privatising the health servoce, selling off public housing and easing planning rules and building regs. This is highly controversial to say the least and the political horse trading has already started - so the new bike rules may simply get sidelined.
- as it stands, the new proposals will allow local councils and private owners to have the right to seek a prohibition order on their given stretches of trails - this will be particularly noticible in the east of the country, i.e. in Girona province, where some ar******s even ban cockerels from crowing near their luxurious second homes - I kid you not!
- the 'definitive list' was in the original legislation but never materialised, leading to a huge grey zone for the police and the courts to work though (thankfully both of these worthy bodies seem to have felt that they had a load more important things to do so as far as I know actual prosecutiuons have been rare). So one can't hold out too much hope of the new one in these cash starpped days - but if it does materialise life will be soooooooo much easier!
- nobody is saying what form the 'Green Card' permit will take, how much it will cost nor how foreign riders, including those from other parts of Spain, can get their hands on one!
More news as it happens folks . . .