BDAA Press Release
The Environment Agency made their decision to increase the cost of a concessionary rod licence* (£12.50 to 16.75 from 1 April 2008) without consulting the British Disabled Angling Association.
We believe that the decision made was based on a wildly selective use of research that ignored the fact that access to angling for disabled people in England and Wales is wholly inadequate. The Environment Agency’s approach to creating accessibility has been ad hoc and often a waste of money.
The BDAA is bombarded with enquires about where to fish by disabled people and their carers, and we have to tell them there are only a handful of places, usually not nearby – and by the way if a carer and disabled angler go fishing the law says that two licences are needed, one of which would be at full cost.
The BDAA believes that the increase in rod licence fee for the disabled and elderly is completely unjustified without evidence of a significant investment in access. At a time when we should be looking forward to 2015 and to reducing the barriers to angling the Environment Agency is intent on raising the bar. A government agency should know better.
The BDAA has a meeting scheduled for early September with the Environment Agency and this issue is now firmly on the agenda. The BDAA will be looking for evidence that the Environment Agency is ready to invest constructively in access in England and Wales and that this increase is not simply a grab for hundreds of thousands of pounds from the disabled and elderly.