The proposed velodrome
Shrinking Olympic legacy for cyclists
By Angela Saini
The Olympic VeloPark will only be a third of the size originally proposed, to the outrage of local cycle groups.
When Eastway Lea Valley cycle park was bulldozed by Olympic developers last year, young members of Eastway Users' Group could relax in the knowledge that in its place, one of the country’s best cycling facilities would be created, which they could use once the Olympics were over.
In fact, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has scaled-down these plans, which were originally proposed by the Lea Valley Regional Park Authority.
Following consultation by the London Development Agency, Eastway Users Group believed that the new 34-hectare site would include a 6,000-seat velodrome, along with a one-mile road-racing circuit, a BMX track, a full-scale mountain bike track and a cycle speedway circuit.
But Richard Arnold, a project sponsor at the ODA, told the BBC the actual VeloPark is likely to be only 10 hectares.
"The overall site is less than what was originally envisaged in 2003, because we are also looking at other sporting legacies," he told BBC London.
Leslie Everest, from Eastway Users' Group, told BBC London: "Promises had been made that we would have facilities, that we would have somewhere to take the kids. Those promises have not been met by the London Development Agency or anybody."
The ODA has admitted that the new VeloPark will have mountain biking facilities of an introductory nature.
Many of Eastway Users Group's young cyclists, including Michael's sons, would like to compete in the 2012 Olympics. Some are ranked in the top 10 nationally and have also competed internationally.
To learn more about the Eastway Users Group and what they think about the new plans for the VeloPark, watch Angela's report by clicking on the link at the top right of this page.
"I would like to voice my disgust at the 2012 team treatment of cyclist's. When the Eastway cycle circuit was in operation around a 1,000 cyclists would compete on each day of the weekend; over 500 would regularly compete on the mountain bike circuit on a Wednesday. At present the 2012 team have fobbed cyclists off with a smaller road track, next to the motorway and a smaller mountain bike circuit. the bonus is we have the velodrome. great for a dozen specialist people to race on. This must change. I thought the Olympics was supposed to enhance facilities in London, not take them away." - Ian. Leytonstone
last updated: 01/01/2008 at 15:54