This news on the future of what to many people is London’s most important cycling venue is just in from British Cycling:


At a meeting held in London on Friday 9 January 2004, British Cycling’s President, Brian Cookson, Chief Executive Peter King, and Facilities Officer Dave Cockram, met with 11 representatives of all the main user groups from the Eastway cycling facility in the Lee Valley Park. These included local BC officials, as well as representatives from local youth-based clubs, LVRC, TLI, London Cyclo-Cross Association, MTB representatives, plus BMX and Speedway which are not currently practised at Eastway.

Concerns had been expressed about the impact of the Olympic and Velopark plans and the disruption or reduction that would be caused to the existing road and off-road cycling facilities.

Under the chairmanship of Roy Gardiner of the Hainault Roads Club, the meeting heard from Peter King and Dave Cockram about the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s exciting plans for a multi-use Velopark, and how this fitted into the possible use of some of the site in connection with the London Olympic Bid.

Peter King confirmed that BC were working hard with the LVRPA to ensure that the funding would be in place both for the capital investment in site redesign and facilities construction and for the continuing running of them. He emphasized that a commitment to minimum disturbance during the construction of new facilities had been obtained from LVRPA due to the level of interest and commitment expressed by the cycling community. He confirmed that the LVRPA were fully behind cycling at Eastway.

Dave Cockram said that the proposed Velopark development would be the largest and most comprehensive cycling venue in the world and a great advertisement for cyclesport. He confirmed that the Velopark is being planned so that all users (road, MTB, BMX, speedway, track) could be there at the same time, and that all of the facilities are being planned currently to Olympic standard. As part of its development strategy, BC will use Eastway as its South East England base and would have its offices and staff for the region based there.

The representatives agreed to support the concept of the Velopark and the Olympic Bid, providing that:

.the existing road circuit was replaced by a similar or better facility, capable of adaptations to suit different users.

.the area of land available for off-road use remained the same with a variety of circuits of up to 3 miles in length possible.

.the new facilities were integrated in ways that did not cause conflict between users and were available before the existing facilities were removed from use.

.the integrity and safety of the cycling facilities were not compromised by any other uses, or changes to surrounding land uses.

The Eastway Group agreed to support wholeheartedly British Cycling in its efforts to secure this facility The group also agreed to meet again, and to set up working parties to draw up more detail on the specifications for the individual facilities, using both British Cycling’s Facilities Guide and local Eastway expertise.

BC President Brian Cookson said, “The meeting was both timely and useful for all concerned. I am very confident that, by working together with all the interest groups, we can ensure that the Velopark concept is successfully implemented to provide a new future for Eastway and a superb facility for London and the South East that will be the first of it’s kind in the world!”

Chair of the meeting Roy Gardiner said, “BC top officials coming to an Eastway Group meeting shows they mean business. Combining the national body’s standing and expertise with local knowledge will enable us together to achieve the finest possible cycling venue. Anywhere”. More >>>

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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