Stratford Town Hall is the place to be this evening (Thursday) for anyone interested in what sort of cycling legacy will be left behind in the Olympic Park once all the 2012 hoopla is over. Tomorrow evening between 6.30 and 8.30 The Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) will be presenting its plans for road and mountain bike circuits in the park ahead of submitting a planning application later this month.
We're not sure whether the OPLC is planning for a big crowd as the meeting was only announced on the British Cycling website on Tuesday. The plan proposes a one mile circuit crossing the River Lea in the north of the park with a mountain bike trail in the north east of the park, (which sounds like roughly were the old Eastway circuit was), with a new open space created on the opposite side of the river valley in Hackney.
The route has been created with British Cycling, Sport England, and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which will own and operate what will be known as the Lee Valley Velopark.
The subject of the cycling legacy in the Olympic Park has been highly sensitive, cycling was the only sport that had to give up a well used existing facility to make way for the Olympic park with the demolition of the Eastway Cycle Circuit. After much argument a new venue for cycling in North East London was eventually found at Hog Hill in Redbridge some miles to the east of Eastway. However a Velopark including road cycling and mountain biking circuits was always part of the plan for the Olympic Park, London's cycling community and the Eastway Users Group in particular have been alert to any hints of backsliding on the Velopark promise. Earlier this year road.cc reported that fears that the OPLC wanted to ditch the cycling circuit or drastically modify it to make way for a housing development in the west of the park.
Ditching the cycling circuits was probably never a realistic option and it would seem that the river crossing has also been retained in the plans too what compromises, if any, have had to be made to accommodate the competing demands that the Olympic Park needs to satisfy will become clear tomorrow evening.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company meeting will be held at 6.30pm to 8:30pm on Thursday 3 November 2011, at Stratford Town Hall, 29 The Broadway, Stratford, London, E15 4BQ.
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.