Velodrome petition handed over amid Commonwealth Games legacy plea
A 6,000-strong petition calling for a cycling velodrome to be built as a legacy of the 2022 Commonwealth Games has been handed over to Birmingham Council.
Black Country cycling legend Hugh Porter MBE joined Halesowen Cycling Club chairman Dave Viner and campaigners to hand it over to Birmingham Council leader Ian Ward.
Despite the Games being held in Birmingham organisers have committed to holding cycling events at the London Olympic velodrome instead – 130 miles away. But calls have been made demanding a new velodrome is still created in the region to be used by clubs and to boost participation in the sport.
Mr Porter, from Wolverhampton, who won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1966, said he would like to see the decision reversed.
He said: “I would like to see them get back round the table and look at the viability and build something in Birmingham because it would give people an opportunity.
"A competition velodrome would be superb, but if that’s not the case, a training facility would be good. When a venue is built it becomes an amenity available for all other sports.”
“It’s not just for cycling at the velodrome – it could become a multi-sports centre. A really world class velodrome is an opportunity to flag up Birmingham post-games – it could bid for world class events.”
The petition was handed in at the council offices in Victoria Street, Birmingham yesterday afternoon.
It is hoped it will now add weight to any future talks the council has over the issue.
David Viner, chairman of Halesowen Cycling Club, said: “We were told the Commonwealth Games were coming to Birmingham and I thought, as chairman of Halesowen Cycling Club, it would be a wonderful opportunity to get an indoor velodrome built in Birmingham.
“We understand BC (British Cycling) and Sport England will not back a 4,000-seater competition velodrome as they say it’s not sustainable.
"So now the focus of the campaign is to get a smaller training and development done which would be multi-use.
"It’s an absolute tragedy that the people in Birmingham, and the West Midlands, will not be able to witness first-hand some of the best track riders in the 2022 games.”
Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham Council, said: “We’re keen to speak to British Cycling. It would be a meaningful legacy people across the region would appreciate.”
Charlie Dickens, from Stourbridge, started the petition and said he felt it was a “missed opportunity” for the city and region. Charlie, who studied Maths at University of Birmingham, said there had been a “massive” surge in support.