January 19, 2010
The Eastway Users’ Group has been in touch about the latest plans for London’s Olympic legacy. The former Eastway site will have a great big Velodrome on it (yay!) but what of the off road mountain bike and cyclocross racing that used to take place there? You’re currently going to be expected to share paths with pedestrians and, get this, stop at chicanes in order to cross other rights of way. Not too good for a Wednesday night race course…
Here’s the full Eastway User Group Plea. If we hear from the Olympic designers too, we’ll stick their views up here too:
Today’s the day to post your comments on Eastway Velopark plans.
Anyone who ever rode a Beastway race in Stratford, east London will be sad to note that mountainbike cross-country racing will not be possible in the post-Olympic velopark plans that are in for permission.
Tuesday 19 January 2010 is the last day to register your comments directly and do your bit to get them changed.
Details in the plans for after the London Games mean riders have to follow shared-use paths over bridges and tunnels to reach off-road areas. Stone chicanes will stop riders where they must give way to pedestrians and service traffic. These details look set to end the hopes of racers, unless they can be changed to give priority to Olympic sports.
The different areas of trail also look set to be a disappointment with very short sections of mildly technical riding. There is only 400m in one section of so-called black-graded trail. Red trails are limited to 10% gradients on short sections of very minor ups and downs.
Two hundred-plus riders took part in Beastway races to encounter deep gulleys and sharp climbs many times around each lap, The country’s most popular weekly races deserve better details in a plan that could still succeed with minor changes;-
Close trails just for racing
Bring more riding interest into trail areas
Riders are right to demand a proper legacy for an Olympic sport on this site.
There is also no provision in the plans for Cyclocross courses. More changes to this detailed planning application are needed.
Sport riders can help by writing for these changes to the planning authorities with the thought that it’s off-road disciplines which get riders started. The changes needed are possible, but not easy to achieve when pedestrian and commuter routes have been brought into the trails intended for racing.
Make your views known to the planning authorities by today’s deadline to help them decide on plans and conditions. Change is possible at this stage and it’s best to get them before the place is built, or else cross-country and Cyclocross racing will not re-start.
Write with your thoughts on the plans to;-
Head of Development Control ODAPDT
Mailpoint 32B 23rd floor 1 Churchill Place
London E14 5LN
It helps register your concerns if you quote the exact planning application numbers;-
09/90408/AODODA – 09/90409/AODODA – 09/90410/FUMODA – 09/90411/AODODA – 09/90412/AODODA
The planners have produced a single ‘prospectus’ for the Velopark which is quite short. You can see it for yourself by following these two links;-
http://planning.london2012.com/upload/publicaccessODAlive/DAS%2012%20(20150).pdf – from page 9
http://planning.london2012.com/upload/publicaccessODAlive/DAS%2013%20(20151).pdf – from start
London’s sport cyclists have campaigned through the Eastway Users’ Group for over seven years to secure provision that will replace the Road race, Time-trial, Mountainbike and Cyclocross back on the Inner East London site at Eastway, as well as the velodrome and BMX that come with the Games.
In 2003 whenthe Group started, there was to be no relocation and no legacy for road or off-road circuits, just a velodrome so the campaign went to the authorities, through a planning inquiry and into the political decision-makers to get the needs of riders across, particularly those doing Olympic sport on a rare site that was needed for the Olympic Park.
The Eastway Users’ Group won planning conditions for relocation and a legacy. The first part of this was completed in 2008 as Hog Hill opened, but it’s been a disappointment to see sub-standard provision for mountainbike racing there. The Group also carried on trying to secure the right kind of provision on the legacy site, so the details in the latest planning application which prevent safe racing are extremely disappointing.