Re-open the Cycling track at the Mountbatten Centre
  • Petitioning Councillor Robert New
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

Cabinet Menber for Environment & Community Safety
Councillor Robert New
See response
Cabinet Menber for Environment & Community Safety
Councillor Sandra Stockdale
GM Mountbatten Centre - Parkwood Community Leisure
Gary Swann

Re-open the Cycling track at the Mountbatten Centre

    1. David Gwilliam
    2. Petition by

      David Gwilliam

      Portsmouth, United Kingdom



  • A traffic-free venue for cyclist both new and old to practice skills, improve techniques, gain valuable confidence and become safer cyclists on the public highway.

  • Continue to provide a venue for children to exercise safely in a controlled environment.

  • Nurture the enthusiasm and excitement that has been prevalent since the success of the 2012 Olympics.

  • Continue to deliver British Cycling sanctioned coaching sessions to all levels of cyclists

  • continue to be the focus 'hub' for local cyclists from Portsmouth and surrounding areas.

    So why this petition?

    After a tragic accident, an experienced competitive cyclist died in hospital a few days after competing at the track, as a result of his crash injuries during the Senior level race at the Mountbatten track. The Portsmouth City Council Environmental Health Officer (EHO) in communication with and after recommendations from, effected the immediate suspension of ALL cycling activities at the Mountbatten Track (actioned by Parkwood Community Leisure - who manage the facility for PCC). Investigations had to be carried out by the EHO and Health & Safety Executive. Local coaches were informed by Parkwood Leisure 3 weeks after the incident occured, however in the interim period post crash to announcement, British Cycling (BC) suspended all RACING and 'Coach-led RACING' (simulation) but permitted normal coaching sessions as the National Governing body for cycling. The Parkwood Leisure announcement however made it clear that ALL BC coaching was to cease immediately. That was the 27th March 2014.

    Present date 4th June 2014 - The Coroner has an investigation in progress, which will take several months to complete. After communicating with the Coroner it was clear that it was not in his remit to cease activities at the venue - it remains the remit of the owner/operator (Portsmouth City Council/Parkwood Community Leisure).

    This petition is to bring to the council's attention that racing is a million miles away from controlled coaching sessions; young cyclists are now taking to the busy public highway to continue their passion for riding; local cyclists are leaving the area and riding at venues further afield - Bournemouth, Brighton, Castle Combe, Herne Hill; local coaches are delivering sessions in unused car parks when a fantastic local venue remians closed; without action and the re-opening of the traffic-free circuit local cycling interest I fear will wane and all the hard work carried out by volunteers and parents will be undone. Local cyclist, parents and young budding riders are getting frustrated at the council's lack of communication during this incident, inability to differentiate between controlled coaching and racing, aparent indifference to raised concerns regarding local cycling safety. Although copied on various email communication between local cyclists, coaches and Parkwood Community Leisure, telephone calls to the City help desk, no one from the council has bothered to reply or call.

    Can someone in this newly elected council see that although investigations are justified and tragic accidents do occur in racing, we need our venue for controlled coaching back. British Cycling coaches carry out risk assessment, have liability insurance, deliver safety checks and briefings and are safety conscious in all their delivery and operations.

    Please support this petition if you want the local traffic-free venue to be re-opened.

    Thank you

    David Gwilliam,

    British Cycling Level 3 Road & Time-Trial Coach,

    Coach & Youth Development,

    Portsmouth North End Cycling Club.



Councillor Robert New, Cabinet Menber for Environment & Community Safety
Councillor Sandra Stockdale, Cabinet Menber for Environment & Community Safety
Gary Swann, GM Mountbatten Centre - Parkwood Community Leisure
Re-open the Cycling track at the Mountbatten Centre

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Campaign update 18th July 2014

      David Gwilliam
      Petition Organizer

      The Southampton Echo reported on the recent 'photo shoot' at the Mountbatten Centre where local club youth riders wanted to show their support for coaching to recommence. A meeting was also completed with a local MP. Further meetings were had between British Cycling, Portsmouth City Council, Parkwood Community Leisure and the lease-holder of the venue - the outcome of which is yet to be released, if it ever will as it was a private meeting.

      Parkwood Community Leisure made a statement and re-iterated it has to act on the recommendations of the Environmental Health Officer (EHO) - who's report is being held until the Coroner announces his findings (apparently months away still).

      A freedom of information request has been submitted to find out who the EHO is (who made the recommendations to close the venue) as nobody seems to know or be able to provide a name?

      The 'powers that be' still cannot differentiate between 'risk assessed & supervised coaching' and 'full on racing', so the campaign to reopen for supervised structured coaching persists.

      If there are issues with the safety of the cycle track, which cannot be managed by a risk assessment and supervision of riders for coaching sessions, why has the unsuitability or unsafe nature of the venue not been identified on all the previous coaching risk assessments carried out by a variety of qualified coaches over the past years? The venue hasn't changed - it's just the same as it has been for years - and coaching was permitted to exist without question? Racing also continued unabated? Surely there should have been a pro-active approach over the years of 'other incidents and injuries' during racing, rather than a reactive knee-jerk to this tragic accident?

      Thank you for your support.

    2. Local media - The News

      David Gwilliam
      Petition Organizer

      Parents have contacted The News. Frustrated over the time it has taken to reopen the cycling venue for coaching their children. At 6:30pm Thursday 26th June outside the Mountbatten entrance will be an opportunity to attend a photo- shoot for The News. Please find time to show your support, bring your child, bring your mum & dad, even bring your bike! This call is for all local club's youth - it isn't confined to just Portsmouth. This is your chance to show your support for the reopening of the traffic-free cycle track for coaching. 349 signatures on the petition so far. Thank you.

    3. Meeting arranged by PCC with BC attending.

      David Gwilliam
      Petition Organizer

      A meeting was held on Monday which British Cycling attended and I was informed that the outcome of the meeting would be relayed to me on completion of the meeting. It's Tuesday 12:00 and no contact from BC or PCC - sent information request by text to both this morning and await their replies.

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Decision-maker Councillor Robert New responds:

      Councillor Robert New

      Dear all,

      Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Some of you may not be aware, that we took control of the city on Tuesday. I've been in this job now for just 2.5 days and am currently being briefed on all things within my portf...

    6. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 1 day ago

      It is somewhwere safe to practice and coah racing. it also somewhere safe for open track sessions, for people looking to learn and build up confidence.

      • 8 days ago

      i want a safe environment for my 13yr old to get some proffesional cycling coaching

      • 29 days ago

      This is the nearest cycling track for miles and hundreds of children including my son are desparate to get back on track.

      • about 1 month ago

      Ridind a bike safely and confidently is a skill for life, not to mention the positives of exercising. Hampshire is a very densely populated area i am sure there is more than enough support for this facility.

      • about 1 month ago

      This is an excellent and much needed local facility


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.