Norfolk

RAF Coltishall to become cycling Pedal Park

The former RAF Coltishall base Image copyright Mike Page
Image caption The perimeter track runs in a circuit around the runway at the former RAF Coltishall base

A cycling shop owner is planning on turning a perimeter road at a former RAF base into a race track for bikes.

The three-mile track runs around the edge of the former Coltishall airbase in Norfolk, now called Scottow Enterprise Park.

Pedal Revolution is hoping to secure £300,000 in funding to turn the old RAF operations room into a headquarters with a cafe and workshop.

The circuit would be used for races as well as non-competitive riding.

Image caption Neil Turner hopes the Pedal Park will open in "mid-2016"
Image copyright Mike Page
Image caption The centre of the airfield has been turned into a "solar park" with solar panels to generate power

Neil Turner, who runs Pedal Revolution, said it would be the "only cycle park this side of London" and they would not need to lay any new Tarmac.

"Cycling is the fastest growing sport, our most successful event at the last two Olympiads and, quite frankly, road cycling has got no facilities at all," he said.

"We've been working with Norfolk County Council and we're really excited about creating such a wonderful community asset.

"It is about competition, but it will also be a hub for recreational activity."

Network links

It would link up the base with cycle paths between Norwich, Hoveton and Aylsham.

Image copyright Pedal Revolution
Image caption Pedal Revolution runs the Great Yarmouth Bike Project as a non-profit community organisation
Image copyright Pedal Revolution
Image caption The base's former operations building will be turned into the Pedal Park's headquarters and cafe

Mr Turner said he would seek funding from bodies such as Sport England and the National Lottery.

The Pedal Park would charge a membership fee once it was ready, but would operate as a non-profit, community business.

The RAF left Coltishall at the end of 2006, Norfolk County Council bought the former airbase for £4m in 2013 and a solar farm has been built in the centre of the airfield.

Councillor Hilary Cox, the council's champion for walking and cycling, said: "It's important because it will cover all aspects of cycling - competitions, functions, training youngsters and it will link up with other cycle tracks."

Mr Turner said the aim was to have the cycle park ready by mid-2016.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites