Torbay Velopark Pump Track and Cyclocross proposal
This, from Sports Development at Torbay Council:
You may have seen a recent consultation before Christmas regarding a proposal for a Cycloscross and Pump Track within Torbay Velopark to offer a broader range of cycling opportunities attracting more people to the facilities. As a key local partnership we are keen to hear your thoughts on the proposal.
Torbay Council are working with Mid Devon Cycling Club (MDCC) and Parkwood/LEX Leisure to apply to British Cycling’s Places to Ride funding and have been successful in the Stage 1 application. We are now working towards submitting further information for Stage 2. Match funding for the project is from Mid Devon Cycling Club. If we are successful in Stage 2 of the funding application and funding awarded the project will of course require planning permission and follow the relevant procedures regarding procurement, planning etc.
The Project Plan is split into two parts:
Design and build of a permanent Cyclocross Race Track to fit within and around an existing road race closed circuit, Torbay Velopark.
The features of the CX track have been designed in a way that it offers various ways of using the facility; to incorporate training for a range of different cycling disciplines as well as providing comprehensive Cyclo-Cross racing at all levels from novice to National Adult Race standards. It would in effect replace and upgrade substantially, an experimental and temporary track, which was used with amazing success to provide a national standard race circuit last year (attended by over two hundred competitors from age 8 to over 80 years).
The provision of a Cyclo Cross Race Track will draw local people into the facility where activity, training and competition will become a central feature of family life in Torbay. With so many other assets in the immediate proximity; schools and families will have the opportunity to engage in a range of different activities. The fact that the track will be open to national level competition will attract competitors from around the region and further afield; again drawing in income to the locality. This much has already been shown by the success of the trial event late last year.
Design & build a Pump Track to fit within a 45 x 40 m area.
The track has been designed in a way that it offers a facility for predominately bicycle riders but not excluding skaters & scooter users. The aim is to produce a challenging track with a variety of options to cater to all abilities, whilst challenging experienced riders & being safe for beginners. The strategic aim is to broaden the scope and range of cycling in the local area at an off-road facility. This would attract a wider representation of the community, will be inclusive and provide opportunity for all members of families. MDCC already provide a comprehensive training programme including road/cyclo-cross/mtb.
The Pump track will provide fast and immediate thrills and competition to local riders on a daily basis. An all-weather pump track will see a regular attendance throughout the year supplemented by considerable increase during the holiday season. Schools, local colleges and voluntary support groups will be able to increase their use of the Velopark generally. The vision is of a community hub with feather flags, outdoor benches and seating areas, social interaction, refreshments and all round good fun and social inclusion.
Our [Torbay Council's] community consultation had a great response from over 700 people who were mainly in favour of the project proposal. I hope that you agree this is an exciting opportunity, please let have your comments.
- Helen Boyles
I’m in favour of encouraging healthy outdoor exercise and cycling though cyclists also need to be much better accommodated on existing roads to enable A- B travelling other than by motorised transport which the Council must work to discourage.
What I also note the absence of any reference to
The wildlife pond habitat which is an area of special conservation and is likely to be exposed to damaging disturbance. The designers need to explain just what protective measures would be taken to avoid this disturbance as a high conditional priority to acceptance of the development proposal.
- Maurice Lidster
I believe this proposed facility is a good idea and will be of benefit to Torbay but I am concerned that if this development goes ahead there will be a lack of future finance and effective management of the site going forward. The current BMX, skateboard/scoter site at Parkside in Paignton is a prime example of this lack of funding and management failure with little or no CCTV, broken street furniture, ineffective and broken lights and inadequate security provision. Can we be sure that the same will not happen with this project if we cannot even manage a similar but far smaller facility.
- Mike Langman
Sounds like a good idea - but I would like to see what has been done as far as ecological survey/assessment for the project the council seem to to want them to done for all other projects.. The majority of the area is on originally community playing fields which were then cordoned off for the velopark, now run by a private company who must find it difficult to maintain financially. I too have concerns over the long term viability of such a project and what happens if the project fails to deliver the presumed financial and economic benefits. As with so many of these 'sports' projects (and indeed other projects) funding is relatively easy to find to finance the creation, but upkeep is never easy or sometimes even possible. There is one area of conservation concern where the track goes though a small copse toward the south side of the velopark, this area does have wildlife and botanical interest and will need to be looked at closely. Some of this area beside the stream is also badly contaminated on a irregular basis from raw sewage (and everything that goes with it) that is allowed to flow out of the huge underground storm storage tank below Hoburne Holiday Park and piped into the stream that runs beside the velopark and then into the sea at Goodrington Beach. A blockage in a pipe through which the stream flows near to the YMC means the area behind the Golf Driving range regularly floods badly and then stinks of sewage. On a positive note if the council sees fit to desilt the badly silted up Clennon Lakes, bagged silt pumped from the lakes could be used perfectly to create the the bank elevations without the need to purchase and transport in soil from outside of the area benefitting both the project and the ecology and biodiversity of the whole valley. Friends of Clennon Lakes have contacts that can carry out this procedure.
- Marc Millmn
I strongly agree with Mike Langmans comment.
- Chris Salvary
I strongly support Mike Langman’s comments and would urge that the Council consider using the silt from Clennon Lakes for the proposed banking.
- Stephanie Murphy
I strongly agree with Mike Langman’s comments. There is a dwindling amount of space for nature in Torbay and it needs to be included in any plans that may be detrimental to the wildlife that live there. The Friends of Clennon Lakes have worked tirelessly in the background on the upkeep of the lakes and paths over the years and this needs to be considered. I’m in favour of utilising the vélo track as it is an underused area but it must be planned with utmost care.
- Steve Tucker
Fully agree with Mike Langman’s comments. It is a win all round if the silt from the lakes could be used as banking for the new facility. I also share Maurice Lidster’s concern of who will actually manage the new facility once it’s up and running?
- Paul Sutton
I too agree with Mike Langman’s comments. Perhaps the site needs to be managed on a paid employment basis, not by volunteers, I don't object to or have anything against, volunteers but if site is that important paying a people to help manage maintaining it means it gets done, you can get volunteers to help but the core work, being paid means the people are there, to do it, whatever the weather, be it snow, ice, torrential rain, wind, or heatwaves. Also with the same people at the top, (held to account of course) then their experience is not lost, as there should be a transition to any new person employed to take over from them. Volunteers can also leave at any time, (life gets in the way sometimes).
I would like to see a short piece of track that connects the ends of the two loops thus creating a proper circuit. This will create greater versatility, especially on days when the track.is wet. Some advanced and, less experienced cyclists are put off for fear of having a fall on the tight hairpins. Thus generating further uptake in the cycling community.