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Three closed loop cycle tracks could be created in Yorkshire under ambitious plans - although not everybody is happy

Yorkshire could benefit from even more cycling facilities with ambitious plans to create a £2.5m ’community sports village' at a former Bradford school.

The proposals, which include a closed-loop cycle track, form part of a 140,000 square metre multi-sports facility at the former Wyke Manor School.

Sport England, British Cycling, and the Football Foundation are working with the local council to develop the plans.

The council said: "Being an ex-high school, the site lends itself to a sports use development, primarily aimed at the residential areas and the schools in the surrounding area.

"There is currently a 'health drive' throughout Yorkshire and the UK as a whole, with a particular focus on cycling, field sports, swimming, and gym-based fitness.

"The scale of the new structure is such that it will stand out from its surroundings by virtue of its intended use, but will not overpower the existing local residential environment."

Phil Barker, Bradford Council's assistant director for Sport and Culture, said: "The final extent of the project will depend on the levels of funding allocated by partner organisations.

"We hope to develop a community-managed hub which will have junior rugby league on the site, as well as bringing Wyke-based junior football clubs back into the village.

"We are also considering a closed-loop cycle track and a small indoor sports hall.”

Just last week we reported how there are plans to develop a new 1.6km asphalt closed road cycle circuit near Leeds. The University of Leeds is looking to team up with UK Sport and British Cycling to develop the £4.5m facility with hopes that the work could be completed by October.

According to the Yorkshire Post land on the university’s Bodington playing fields near Adel, north of the city’s ring road, has been earmarked for the project, which would also see Bodington sports pavilion refurbished.

Rob Wadsworth, Head of Sport at the University of Leeds, said: “The University of Leeds is committed to sporting excellence and to opening up its facilities for the benefit of the public and this cycle track is a big part of that.

“We excel at cycling, our students are consistently at the top of their sport in the UK and the proposed track has the backing of key sport and cycling bodies.

“We look forward to meeting elected representatives and local residents to explain the plans and answer any questions they may have. Arrangements for a community consultation session are currently being finalised.”

UK Sport and British Cycling would provide £1m in funding, leaving the university to contribute the remaining £3.5m. An application has not yet been made for planning permission, but it is hoped that work could begin as early as March.

In addition, there are also plans to build another closed cycling loop at Bishop Konstant Multi Academy Trust, where a 1.1km track could be created on playing fields at St Thomas a Becket Catholic Secondary School in Sandal. However according to a report in the Wakefield Express some residents have objected to the plan citing fears that the track might have a negative impact on house prices in the area.

The circuit would be used by cycling and disability groups and for track competitions, including time trials and race events.

British Cycling said the development would help build on the legacy of the Tour de Yorkshire, which passed through the city in May last year.

A council report said: “The proposal would be the only one of its kind in the Wakefield area and would serve an area between York and Sheffield, where the nearest closed road circuits are located.”

If all three projects came to fruition, it would mean three sets of cycling facilities within a 20 square mile area of Yorkshire.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.