A petition to build a new velodrome in the West Midlands ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games has attracted almost 6,000 signatures as campaigners prepare to hand it over to Birmingham City Council, reports the Birmingham Mail.
In December, Birmingham was awarded the Commonwealth Games in place of original host Durban in South Africa, whose plans had been hit by funding difficulties.
However, the region does not currently have a velodrome and track cycling events are due to take place at the Lee Valley VeloPark, which hosted the sport at the London 2012 Olympics.
The petition states: “The West Midlands Region has a population of 5.6 million people but there is no indoor velodrome within the area. Birmingham also does not have a single banked cycling track. Track cycling within the West Midlands can only develop by having investment into modern facilities.”
Among those backing the campaign is former UCI president Brian Cookson, who said: “I am absolutely certain that Birmingham deserves and needs a velodrome of its own.
"Cycling is a wonderful sport and pastime, and the West Midlands region has always produced cyclists of the highest levels of ability. But without modern facilities of the requisite standard, future generations will miss out.”
At the time of writing, the petition has attracted over 5,900 signatures and campaigners say they are now preparing to hand it over.
British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington recently responded to a query about the campaign by saying: "British Cycling are committed to developing opportunities for cycling across the nation and as part of this commitment are working with Birmingham City Council and other stakeholders to develop cycling in the West Midlands.
“A discussion took place recently between Birmingham City Council and British Cycling, the outcome of which is that the partners will commission a feasibility study which will look at the overall cycling facility needs of Birmingham to better understand the city’s priorities."