Work starts on new racetrack for cycles

Work to build a new cycle track at Palatine School

Work to build a new cycle track at Palatine School

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CYCLISTS will soon be able to accelerate their pedal power thanks to a new £400,000 track being built in Blackpool.

Work has begun on the facility in the grounds of Palatine Sports Centre and Sports College in South Shore and is due to be finished by Easter.

The track, being funded by British Cycling and Cycling England, will be just over a kilometre long.

It will be home to Blackpool Youth Cycling Association (BYCA) – for youngsters aged from six to 18 – which currently meets at Stanley Park.

BYCA chairman Tom Leivers said: “This is brilliant news and means our young cyclists will be able to train in safety on the track and hopefully it will encourage more kids to take up racing.

“We’ve got bikes, helmets and the track and if anyone wants to join us, we’re hoping to hold our coaching sessions on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.”

Cyclists will also be able to book the track through Palatine Sports Centre.

The track will host novice races and ‘Wheels For All’ sessions which use specially adapted bikes to allow people of any ability, or with a disability, to saddle up.

Headteacher Chris Powell said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Palatine students and the community.

“The Palatine Campus is really developing into something special. The cycle track complements the other facilities we already have on the site.

“The timing of the Cycling Track is also fantastic, the London Olympics is on the horizon and hopefully we can use this opportunity to make Palatine the hub of track cycling in the North West.”

Coun Tony Williams, cabinet member for culture and communities, said: “The sports centre is an ideal place to put this circuit: it isn’t in anyone’s way, it is safe, secure and gives the users of the circuit access to the facilities already available at Palatine Sports Centre.”

British Cycling’s chief executive, Ian Drake said “This excellent community facility will provide people of all ages and abilities an opportunity to enjoy cycling in a safe, controlled and traffic free environment, supporting the growth of our sport at the grass roots and helping us develop future cycling stars.”