Published Monday 30 November 2015 at 10:10
A new specialist cycle track is set to be built in the grounds of an iconic Blackburn Park.
Blackburn with Darwen Council in partnership with Landscape Engineering Ltd have teamed-up to provide a Pump track and training course for cyclists at Witton Country Park.
The exciting new facility is being funded by the Council’s Local Transport Plan and is being promoted through the Councils sustainable transport project BwD Connect.
The track aims to further strengthen cycling opportunities in the borough for all abilities.
The 50 metre long looped route known as a pump track consists of a series of rollers and berms that can be ridden without pedalling.
It works by riders propelling themselves, shifting their body weight and the bike over the contours of the track.
The name comes from the pumping motion used by the cyclist’s upper and lower body as they ride around the track, using this motion to maintain speed around the track without pedalling.
The track can be ridden on mountain bikes and BMX bikes and is suitable for all ages and experience levels – although children must be supervised by an adult.
It is hoped the track will be completed in the next few weeks in time for Christmas.
Cllr Phil Riley, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “With cycling of all kinds experiencing a large growth and the success of the Cycle Centre at Witton Country Park, it seemed ideal to build a pump track that can be used by people of all ages.
“This new development is testament to our continued commitment to improving our local cycle network. The pump track and improvement to the mountain bike trails at Billinge Woods is part of our wide ranging support for more active travel and lifestyles complimenting the skatepark in Darwen and the planned Weavers Wheel cycle network which was approved funding earlier this year.”
Witton Park’s pump track will be free to use, following the guidance and riding safety rules highlighted on site.
It occupies a site around 50m long x 15m wide.
Riders can learn the techniques and improve their balance, encouraging riders to progress to the next levels.
Tember Walsh, who works at Witton Park’s successful Cycle Centre, said: “It is a great success; we have lots of bikes for hire and a good number of regular users.
“Progression and excitement is what keeps riders interested. This facility, right on our doorstep, will be great for riders to learn and enjoy the tricks of riding.”
Cycle retailers locally are pleased to see the new facility in the town. “Getting more people riding it good for our business, but also for battling obesity’, says Ian Kay from Ewood Bikes.
“BMX is a great adrenaline sport and any new facilities in our town is good for all the local ‘shredders!’’’, states Paul Bury of Cellblock.”
‘Nick Riley, of Landscape Engineering Ltd, the local landscape construction company developing the track, said: “We are keen riders and are keen to see young riders coming through. Getting kids outdoors using facilities is what we are about, that’s why we enjoy building the pump tracks.
“The Council is keen to provide a full range of facilities around the town, focusing on Witton Park and its Cycle Centre, an excellent facility to get people riding and more importantly, fit.”
For more information and for progress updates via Twitter visit @LandEngLtd or visit: www.connect.org.uk