We're super-excited here at road.cc towers because there's plans afoot for a brand new road cycle circuit on the south side of Bath. And we need your help to get it through planning.
Bath, and the South West in general, isn't particularly well served for cycle facilities. So we were delighted to learn earlier in the year that there was a plan in progress to build a brand new 1.5km closed-loop circuit at Odd Down playing fields on the outskirts of Bath. The track is part of a wider refurbishment of facilities at the site; that redevelopment is being largely funded by Section 106 money from the construction of a new Sainsbury's superstore in the area. A sizeable contribution from British Cycling will pay for the track and improvements to existing facilities including a competition-standard BMX track that's already on site.
The track would be a fantastic resource for the whole area; the success of the recent Bath Cycle Races in Victoria Park in the city has shown that there's a real desire for regular racing in the area, and the design of the track would be such that it's possible to split the loop into three sections, making shorter tracks for teaching young riders and the possibility of having more than one group on the track at any one time.
The regeneration of the playing fields is long overdue and a cause that's close to road.cc Dave's heart, as he's a resident of Odd Down as well as a keen cyclist. "The S106 money has been a godsend for a group of local sporting clubs that have been trying for many years to get the facilities at Odd Down updated, " he gushed when we asked him over the desk. "The regeneration will benefit everyone. A new 3G astroturf facility will give a year-round training venue for local football and rugby, and also generate enough revenue to allow the site to run at a profit; currently it loses tens of thousands of pounds a year. There will be new facilities too to replace the shocking changing rooms presently on site, and the addition of the BC money to fund the track is the icing on the cake. The track will be the only dedicated road racing facility for tens of miles in any direction, and will be a massive boon to cycling generally, not just road racing. It'll be a safe place to take kids to learn to ride and a safe place to train, and there's further plans to include a pump track and a short MTB loop in the future too"
The planning application for the track is in, and comments are invited. Clearly we'd love for you all to take a couple of minutes (it really is only that) and register your support, especially if you live in the South West although comments are open to everyone. There's bound to be objections to the plans so it's vital that we get as many voices of support as possible.
You might want to mention:
- Bath (and the area in general) doesn't have a facility of this kind so it would be hugely popular
- Funding is in place
- The design allows it to be used for teaching and as a facility for local schools
- We own cycling right now thanks to the Olympics, so we need to invest for its future
- Embracing active lifestyles is a key aim of Bath and North East Somerset Council.
- Erm, it's not a velodrome. Some people seem to think it is...