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Petition launched to build velodrome in Birmingham for Commonwealth Games

Track cycling at event in 2022 is due to take place in London

A petition for a velodrome to be built in the West Midlands ahead of the 2022 Commoonwealth Games, which are being held in Birmingham, has gained more than 1,500 signatures since it went live yesterday.

The city was last month awarded the Games, in place of original host Durban, South Africa, whose plans had been hit by funding difficulties.

But Birmingham's final does not include the building of a velodrome, with track cycling events due to take place at the Lee Valley VeloPark, which hosted the sport at the London 2012 Olympics.

The petition, launched by Charlie Dickens, puts forward the case for the velodrome as follows:

The West Midlands Region has a population of 5.6 million people but there is no indoor velodrome within the area. Birmingham also does not have a single banked cycling track.

Track cycling within the West Midlands can only develop by having investment into modern facilities.

As part of Birmingham Cycling Revolution there is a stated aim to have 5% of all trips taken by bicycle before 2022.

The Velo Birmingham cycle sportive was a huge success with 15,000 cyclists participating.

Due to new indoor velodromes within the UK there has been a huge increase in female and paralympic track cyclists but the West Midlands is being left behind.

Modern velodromes support multi-sport facilities and are used for various non-sporting events too.

A new indoor cycling track would encourage people from all backgrounds to try this great sport. Children from socially deprived backgrounds will not be able to travel to London to watch the track cycling at the Commonwealth Games.

Former UCI president Brian Cookson backs the proposal, and said: “I am absolutely certain that Birmingham deserves and needs a velodrome of its own.

"Cycling is a wonderful sport and pastime, and the West Midlands region has always produced cyclists of the highest levels of ability.

"But without modern facilities of the requisite standard, future generations will miss out.”

Thge petition has also been backed by Kay Godwin Jones, whose father, Tommy Godwin, came from Birmingham and won two bronze medals at the 1948 Olympic  Games in London.

She said: “Tommy’s greatest wish prior to his death 2012, having been one of Birmingham’s Olympic ambassadors was that there should be a velodrome in the Birmingham area," something he spent many years campaigning for.

"He would have been delighted that the Commonwealth Games bid had been successful but devastated that his beloved track cycling would not be held in Birmingham,” she added.

According to the petition, the money needed to build the velodrome could come from existing sports budgets of the Birmingham Organising Committee Commonwealth Games Ltd and British Cycling, meaning that households would not have to contribute through council tax.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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