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Cycling’s the new golf: Final designs for Bath Bike Park, which will replace a golf course, set to be completed this month

Latest survey finds that majority of residents support the 30-acre facility, two years after golfers claimed a public consultation was taken over by a ‘cycling lobby on steroids’

The final draft designs for Bath Bike Park, a 30-acre cycling facility situated on the grounds of the former Entry Hill golf course, are set to be completed this month as a majority of residents say they are excited about the new cycling centre.

The designs are currently being developed by Bristol-based cycling group Pedal Progression who last year won the tender process to create the bike park, which will feature five kilometres of purpose-built mountain bike trails, a pump track, skills and learn to ride areas, a bike shop and coaching services, as well as free-to-access walking, running and family cycling paths. 

Roughly two-thirds of respondents said they were excited to use different features of the bike park, from the mountain bike trails to the proposed café and nature areas.

> Bath golfers outraged that loss-making course could be turned into cycling centre 

However, while 78 percent of men and 63 percent of people with disabilities surveyed said they would use the dedicated cycling facilities – which will be operated on a pay to ride basis – only 34 percent of women expressed an interest in the bike trails, with the results of the survey suggesting that women and girls will be more likely to use the walking and running trails, a finding Pedal Progression say they will address by carrying out further engagement and outreach work.

Many residents also suggested that the walking route should be extended around the entire park – which Pedal Progression have now incorporated into the new design – while some locals raised concerns about traffic around the site, parking, air quality and the potential danger to wildlife.

Mark Roper, cabinet assistant for neighbourhood services at Bath and North East Somerset Council, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took part in this latest consultation.

“It’s important Bath Bike Park caters not only for those who want to use the mountain bike trails, but for families, walkers and nature-lovers as well. The feedback we’ve received will help to ensure we balance the needs of all park users in the final design.

“I was particularly encouraged to see that 70 percent of people who responded to the survey said they would use sustainable travel options to access the site, either walking or cycling or using a combination of these with public transport.”

 “We’re very excited with the progress made on the Bath Bike Park project so far and are closer than ever to realising the dream!” said Matt George, director at Pedal Progression.

“Thank you to all those who responded to the various surveys, reached out to us with concerns, suggestions and support. It’s our belief that the facility will offer something for everyone.”

> Edinburgh golf club urges council to remove cycle lane – so members can park on the road 

Despite the general public support for the Bath Bike Park, local golfers previously led a campaign to save the two loss-making golf courses at Entry Hill after Bath and North East Somerset Council revealed that each round played cost taxpayers £8.

One golfer complained that the first public consultation on the future of the site was taken over by a ‘cycling lobby on steroids' after 78 percent of respondents expressed support for turning it into a cycling centre.

In Edinburgh earlier this year, cyclists and golfers also went head-to-head after a cycle lane was installed on the Lanark Road, outside Kingsknowe Golf Club.

In February, members of Kingsknowe launched a petition to remove the active travel scheme on the Lanark Road, traditionally viewed as one of the city’s most dangerous roads for cyclists, because, the club said, the new bike lanes prevented members from parking on the road when the course is busy, despite the existence of a public car park a few hundred yards from the club.

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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