Schoolboys' year long campaign for a BMX track in Keswick paying off

A spot has been found and a planning application submitted

by Sarah Barth   January 12, 2013  

road.cc news

Two schoolboys who campaigned tirelessly for a BMX track in their home town of Keswick have been rewarded with a planning application for a track in Fitz Park, with grants and support earmarked for the project.

Thomas Slack, 13, and Adam Suddaby, 12, have spent more than a year persuading town councillors that local children needed somewhere to exercise and let off steam.

Their first idea, a skate park, was knocked back because the amount of concrete required would not have been environmentally friendly, the authorities said.

But a BMX dirt track in Fitx Park was much better received.

Thomas told the News & Star: “A lot of my friends have been chased away by police from jumps that they have set up themselves in certain areas of the town. It’s something that we need and would provide us a safe place to go.”

Lynda Walker, secretary of both the council and the Fitz Park trust, said: “The trust agreed it was a good idea and a facility we would like to provide for young people and early teens in Keswick, because there isn’t anything really anything near by.

“We are still in very early stages, but a lot of the major funding sources will not consider grants until planning permission has been given.

“We are optimistic it should be passed, and then we can start applying for the major grants.”

Thomas and Adam are still doing their bit, putting collection boxes in local businesses to help raise the £35,000 the track is expected to cost if it goes ahead.

To find out how you can support the project visit BMX Cumbria.

4 user comments

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Chapeau to both boys! At last a news story that has a positive vibe and does not involve road rage incidents, cyclist being injured or killed or a certain cheating Texan.
We just need more of these.

posted by SevenHills [150 posts]
12th January 2013 - 14:13

0 Likes

With good guidance (eg retired engineers & construction workers with the skills) a lot of the work can be done with hand tools and manual labour, and kids elsewhere have built their own tracks.

Materials can often be sourced as donations - with local quarries, and road resurfacing (planings) possibly a source to check-out.

Remember that the Bristol to Bath cycle route was started in 1978, and the initial work carried out on a shoestring budget, as were many early Sustrans projects until the 1995 Millennium Project. In many ways locally driven work with locally won resources delivers, at far lower cost that the figures being quoted

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [499 posts]
13th January 2013 - 2:28

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A skate park was knocked back because as not environmentally friendly because of the amount of concrete it would use!

Given this aversion to concrete, I look forward to seeing how they deal with the next application from a housing developer.

posted by FMOAB [238 posts]
14th January 2013 - 22:55

1 Like

AV - it depends what kind of track you want to build. A few simple dirt jumps can be built easily enough, but if you want a proper track with berms and stuff, it isn't that easy.

A lot of councils now have 'green' targets and may be required to recycle road planings from mill and fill road repairs. This will mean those will be fed back to an asphalt plant as the bitumen they contain is a valuable commodity. If there's no plant able to recycle planings locally though (only newer plants can cope with the material), the material may be available. Crushed concrete from demolition jobs is another good source of hardcore but be sure that the rebar has been taken out, and it may need to be screened to ensure good quality.

I've quite a bit of experience with BMX track maintenance as it happens, and I've got a lot of knowledge of road construction too.

But it's good to hear the lads have some success. If the local cops are any good, they'll be down there themselves having a ride. There's a cop in our club in fact - good rider.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2288 posts]
15th January 2013 - 9:19

1 Like