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Gerald Price
Mr Price says he has been "robbed" of his enjoyment of Windermere

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            Blind Skier, 74, defies lake law

A disabled waterskiing champion plans to deliberately break a controversial Lake District speed limit.

Gerald Price, 74, from Stockport, will flout Windermere's 10mph restriction later and wants a legal review of a ban on power boating on the lake.

The British blind waterskiing speed record holder represents the Keep Windermere Alive Association (KWAA). The Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) warned any breach of the speed limit would be irresponsible. In March 2005, the authority outlawed high-speed craft in a move to restore the area's tranquillity.

If enforcement officers turn up and gather enough evidence the case will go to court
 
 

But campaigners, including some businesses, said it has affected the local economy, which was badly hit by the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001. Former Sports and Culture Minister Kate Hoey and former Environment Minister John Gummer, are among those who have backed campaigns against the restrictions.

Earlier this year the KWAA proposed a managed solution but, after taking advice from lawyers, the LDNPA said it would not alter the limit. Mr Price said Tuesday's action will be an attempt to test the scheme's validity.

Windermere
The 10mph speed limit came into force in March 20

He said: "If enforcement officers turn up and gather enough evidence the case will go to court.

"However, if they do not appear this will demonstrate that the bylaw is unenforceable, null and void.

"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."

According to the bylaw, the boat's driver, not the waterskier, will face legal action, but it is not known who will be assisting Mr Price in his bid.

AN LDNPA spokesman said: "The authority regrets this intended and blatant disregard of a legitimate byelaw, which was introduced to create a safe and enjoyable lake for recreational users and other craft.

"Any evidence may be presented to the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, for them to decide if any court action will follow."