A mile-long road cycling track will be one of the focal points of what is being billed as the UK’s largest urban park to be created in more than a century as part of the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games.
The six metre wide track circuit will be an integral part of the parklands around the Olympic velodrome, and will be equipped with low UV lighting to allow use throughout the year and in the evenings. Plans also include six kilometres of off-road mountain bike tracks, and a cycle path network across the park that will include part of National Route 1.
The new road cycle track will provide a long-term replacement to the former Eastway Cycle Track, located on the site where the velodrome is currently being built.
Following the closure of the popular circuit in November 2006, users had to wait nearly 18 months for alternative facilities to be opened in outer London at the Redbridge Cycling Centre at Hog Hill, Hainault following a long-running campaign by the Eastway Users Group to find an alternative site.
The 250-acre park, which in the long term will be managed by the Olympic Park Legacy Committee, will also include “hanging gardens” thirty feet above ground level on the bridge linking it to Stratford City, a tree-lined avenue modelled on The Mall and Birdcage Walk in Central London, and wetlands that will provide a habitat to protected bird species.
Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, said: “With a little over two years to go until the Olympic and Paralympic Games come to London, the further regeneration of east London continues apace and our vision of a new urban parkland is developing before our eyes. After the Games have gone, an incredible legacy will be left – not least a family-friendly park with state of the art sporting facilities transforming this area for London, creating and serving new communities for generations to come.”
Olympic Delivery Authority Project Sponsor John Hopkins added: “Nearby Victoria Park was one of the world’s first public parks opened in 1845. We have designed the Olympic Park parklands to be one of the world’s first parks responding to the challenges of sustainability and climate change, creating the setting not only for a fantastic Olympic and Paralympic Games, but also for liveable neighbourhoods well into the future.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.