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Closed road national cycling centre for Scotland on the way?

Scottish Cycling meets with group wanting to develop facility on waste ground at Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire

Scottish Cycling has reportedly met with a group planning to develop a new closed road national cycle centre at Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire.

The Rutherglen Reformer reports that the proposed facility would be situated on waste ground at the rear of a former Hoover factory in the town, which lies a little to the southeast of Glasgow.

The land is currently owned by Scottish Enterprise who have an option on it which expires early this year but according to the newspaper it is believed that they are not likely to take it up.

Plans for the facility have been drawn up by South Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture, CamGlen Bike Town, members of East Kilbride Road Club and Cambuslang Community Council.

The latter’s treasurer, John Bachtler said: “What we’re proposing is an outdoor track of between 1.5 and two kilometres, with the option of a shorter loop, floodlighting, changing rooms, toilets and showers, a clubhouse and cafe, and parking for coaches and cars.

“There is varied terrain, giving scope for an undulating course with different gradients, and it is separate from residential areas, meaning there will be minimal disturbance from noise, traffic and floodlighting.

“There are also plenty of cycling activities based nearby, with the Cathkin Braes mountain bike centre, the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Cuningar Forest Park track, and the South Lanarkshire Lifestyle sports centre.”

He added: “Cambuslang is in a great position for this because it can reach 63.1 per cent of the Scottish population within 60 minutes.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Cycling said: “Our facilities strategy identifies the need for multi-discipline cycling hubs throughout Scotland.

“Scottish Cycling believe that having safe, local, accessible cycling facilities throughout Scotland will aid the development of our sport.

“Local cycling facilities will not only help generate youth participation and develop the skills of existing riders throughout Scotland but will also aid the progression of our coaches, leaders and club volunteers.”

Councillor Graham Simpson, chair of the South Lanarkshire Cycling Partnership said the proposals were “exciting,” but cautioned that “an awful lot of work needs to be done to make it a reality.”

He added: “There’s a clearly a need for a facility like this in Scotland, as there isn’t one at present, and it would give people the ability to train off-road.

“We’ve got the Velodrome nearby, which is great, but there’s nothing outdoors, so for people who like to cycle outside, there’s absolutely nowhere to train at present - that’s why this proposal is such a good idea.

“One of the real barriers for cycling is the fear of going out on the road, so if we have a facility like this, it might encourage more kids to train and learn how to cycle safely.”

Gregor Yeoman, coach at the East Kilbride Road Club, echoed Councillor Simpson’s views regarding the facility being suitable for younger cyclists.

“There’s nowhere local where it’s safe to train children and young people in road-racing,” he explained.

“We have used industrial estates and circuits belonging to other sports, but that isn’t always possible and some have proved to be unsuitable as they are not dedicated cycle tracks.

“So we need a dedicated facility if we’re going to produce the next generation of Sir Chris Hoys.”

Closed road circuits opened in England in recent years include ones at Odd Down in Bath (pictured, with Sir Chris Hoy leading a ride) and Paignton in Devon, as well as at the Lee Valley VeloPark at the site of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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