One disused old golf course in a suburban park, one motivated local councillor, £483,000 from British Cycling, one motivated British Cycling volunteer, one small dog walking group, two rounds of public consultations, thousands of local residents consulted, one or two surveys, one pandemic, approximately five thousand misleading and scaremongering flyers about the trails posted through surrounding houses letterboxes and stapled to trees (fully rousing outrage and NIMBYism in the surrounding retired population and dog walking community), countless personal slurs and horrible remarks against individual characters, threats of violence and sabotage against people and the trails, police called numerous times about individuals and for situations, three people stood up in front of the planning committee and spouted wholly made up numbers ‘against’ the trails, approximately thirty published ‘local news’ articles and letters for and against, two thousand four hundred comments submitted on the planning permission portal, two petitions raised against, a gazillion online arguments, I’m guessing thirty FOI requests submitted concerning the trails and the council, twice local TV broadcast reported about the trails, one local election political campaign flyer the trails were used as part of their manifesto (to stop them), one badger set, at least two wildlife surveys, one archaeological survey, one retrospective planning adjustments permission (still to be signed off), four years later and the trails at Newbold Comyn have finally been granted ‘OPEN’ by Warwick District Council.
… now, finally, Leamington officially has some off-road bike trails!
… they are getting used by more people on a daily basis than I ever imagined they would, aged from 3 to 83.
… I also can attest to at least one teenager who’s life has very positively changed from these being ridden with a new friendship group being formed around the trails.
It’s such a positive change for the area that I believe every town needs it’s own bike trails.
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