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Reading's Palmer Park velodrome reopens for racing after safety check

British Cycling and Reading BC have made 20 improvements over past six weeks resulting in track getting all-clear

Reading’s Palmer Park velodrome has been given the all-clear to host racing after safety improvements were made to the track, says British Cycling.

In all, more than 20 separate improvements such as the installation of better fencing and perimeter boarding have been made to the facility over the past six weeks since racing was suspended following an independent inspection.

British Cycling, which worked alongside the venue’s operators and Reading Borough Council to bring the track up to standard, carried out a safety inspection on 17 April, and has cleared it for racing starting on Monday 27 April.

Jonny Clay, the governing body’s director of cycle sport, commented:  “We said in March when issues were identified that we wanted to see racing return to Palmer Park as soon as possible.

“I’m delighted with the speed in which issues have been identified and updated to allow the track’s full reopening.

“I would like to thank everyone who was worked on the track improvements and the representatives from Reading Borough Council, Palmer Park track and local clubs who have all contributed to making this such a quick turnaround.

“The track is an important facility and we are very impressed with the work that has been done . This work should ensure that the track has a very healthy future.”

The local council added: “Following a British Cycling review of tracks across the country, the Council has completed some works that were identified.

“These works were in addition to the extensive improvements already made to the track over the winter period. British Cycling has reassessed the track, were pleased with the work and have confirmed that competitive cycling can resume.

“Reading Borough Council is fully committed to supporting the users of the track and cycling in the town. We have carried out this work swiftly so that competitive cycling can resume at Palmer Park as quickly as possible.”

Despite the venue being closed to racing in recent weeks, people have still been able to ride there.

As we reported last month, Oxford Brookes University student Dan Bigham (pictured above at Palmer Park) took to the track to see how far he could ride in an hour, setting a very respectable distance of 46.7km.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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