Blind waterskier intends to challenge the law

Blind waterskier Gerald Price will break Lake Windermere’s 10mph speed limit on Tuesday in a move which he claims will test the validity of the byelaw.

He says if enforcement officers turn up and gather enough evidence, then the case will go to court. However, if they do not appear, he says it will show that the byelaw is “unenforceable, null and void”.

Gerald and the Keep Windermere Alive Association have been campaigning against the speed limit since it before it was introduced in March 2005.
They say lakeland businesses have lost tens of thousands of pounds in annual income as the speed limit has deterred boaters from visiting the area.

The latest development follows a letter of intent from Gerald, inviting the Lake District National Park Authority to open discussions around a “managed inclusive solution for the lake”.

LDNPA members voted in March against opening any dialogue and stated it was not appropriate for them to co-operate in a test infringement of the byelaw.

Mr Price and KWAA have appointed Beachcroft LLP to represent them.

Tony Child, Partner in Public Law at Beachcroft LLP, said: “Together with Counsel, we have been preparing the case for over a year now. We consider that the byelaw is unlawful and therefore a nullity and unenforceable. The consequence of the LDNPA refusing to enter into negotiations is that the dispute can only be resolved by protracted and expensive legal proceedings which may involve both the LDNPA and KWAA incurring six figure sums in legal costs.”

Gerald Price said: “I am blind and waterskiing is the best sport to become available to disabled people. We have been robbed of this enjoyment in the Lake District along with thousands of families.”

“We know we have a strong legal case and all the funds in place to take our case to the highest level. I look forward to enjoying a good ski on Tuesday 24th July at 10am.”