There are plans to Velodrome at the Eastway site in London. Eastway is set to be redeveloped anyway so this could be good news for the capital’s cyclists and for promoting Revolution and World cup type events in London.
The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone will unveil plans today for the Olympic-standard velodrome in London, this is according to a report from the Financial Times. The new facility will be built whether or not London’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games is successful.
Representatives of the International Olympic Committee will visit London this week to assess the city’s bid, in fact they will be landing at Heathrow today. The plans for a velodrome are intended to demonstrate London’s desire to host other large sporting events.
We have e-mailed the Mayor’s office to find out what they are doing to protect Herne Hill, as yet we haven’t had a proper reply. The Eastway development may place even more pressure on the closure of Herne Hill, however if both sites are developed and two velodromes are provided London could finally provide all year round bike racing!
LONDON 2012 VELODROME & VELO-PARK CONFIRMATION – BRITISH CYCLING’S REACTION
British Cycling has welcomed confirmation that a Velodrome and Velo-park will be constructed within the Lee Valley Park as part of the London Olympic 2012 “pre-build”.
For British Cycling, the announcement represents a highly successful outcome to almost 18 months of hard work alongside the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, Sport England, London Development Agency and other interested parties.
The new Track is also a crucial component of British Cycling’s ambitious facility strategy, which includes plans for four covered 250 metre velodromes in the UK. Currently there are Tracks in Manchester (a pre-build for Manchester’s Olympic bid and host to the 2002 Commonwealth Games) and Newport, South Wales (opened late 2003). London will be the third world-class indoor Track cycling facility, whilst there is every indication that the fourth Track will be built in Edinburgh in the not so distant future. The facility will also make an excellent regional base for British Cycling’s Talent Team programme, which tests over 30,000 children across the nation annually, in the search for future GB team riders.
The Velodrome plans have been developed bearing in mind both the needs of the 2012 Olympic bid and the region’s long-term needs for a Track Cycling facility. British Cycling has maintained from the outset that the Velodrome needed to be a permanent facility and not temporary, as the early plans suggested. Velodromes have good “pre-build” and “legacy” characteristics: they are relatively cheap to build, extremely economical to run and attract a high number of users from the local and regional community.
The Velodrome is expected to be the centre-piece of a “Velo-park”, incorporating a BMX Track, closed Road circuit and Cycle Speedway track, which will provide excellent opportunities for all forms of cycling.
British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Peter King has been closely involved in the project from the start, spending a considerable amount of time lobbying politicians on cycling’s behalf, and he welcomed the announcement:
“The Velodrome is only the second piece of “pre-build” for 2012 to be announced. That fact, and the timing of the announcement, coinciding with the IOC’s crucial visit to London, are both significant and point to cycling’s current status within the sporting hierarchy. British Cycling has shown itself to be a reliable deliverer of Olympic success, but it has also used its existing facilities wisely and this has assisted in the sport securing this excellent new facility. I think I’m speaking for the nation’s cyclists, when I say that I hope it will be a cornerstone of a hugely successful Olympic bid by London.”
British Cycling’s Facilities Manager, David Cockram, has played a central role in the feasibility study and planning stages of the new Velodrome. He has no doubts about the potential of such a facility and is keen to point out its value to the people of London and the South-East:
“I sometimes call the Manchester Velodrome a medal factory, which is what it has become over the last seven years. But that is only part of the story. The other success of Manchester is its role as a Track where anybody can come along and experience the thrill of try riding an Olympic-standard track. The public “taster” sessions, which run virtually every day of the year are over-subscribed. The local development club, Eastlands Velo, has to turn children away from their Monday evening sessions because they can’t meet the demand. The place buzzes from morning to late evening every day of the week. With its huge catchment area, the new London Velodrome and the surrounding Velo-park have the potential to be even more popular and an even more influential in the development of both home-grown cycling heroes and the broader sport of cycling.”
Let’s hope The Dulwich Estate have the same attitude…