Forestry Fees ... Is there a better way? ... It would appear that my opinionated views on the recent Jim Clark Reivers Rally incited some debate while at the same time prompting some questions. For instance, many of today's rallying youngsters and newcomers will be completely unaware that once upon a time the Forestry Commission, as a public body, didn't charge motor sport for the use of their forests.
That all changed as cars got quicker and tyres got grippier, but prior to the introduction of a flat-rate mileage fee in the mid 1980s, there was a straightforward charge based on a simple fee for each car entered per mile of forest road used. The amount paid to the FC was therefore determined by the numbers of cars entered and the length of each rally, there was no issue of a 'break-even' figure.
The system worked well at the time but as forestry charges increased, organisers and regulators sought an alternative solution, the flat-rate fee. But is the time now ripe for a re-think of forestry pricing?
It would appear that a certain Mr Bunnet has joined the debate and is stoking the fading embers of forest rallying fires. Taking inspiration from certain Mr Blair: "Is there a better way?" he explains the history and proposes some new thinking.
Admittedly it's a long-ish article (no surprise there!) so fire up the percolater and peel a caramel wafer before tackling it.
By all means share this link with your clubs, associations, championships and fellow competitors. If we just sit back and do nowt we will be able to watch the grass grow under our feet while ramblers, cyclists and bird watchers rule the forestry roads.