Save Maindy Velodrome!

Save Maindy Velodrome!

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Anthony Warland started this petition to Director of Education and Lifelong Learning (Cardiff Council)

Cardiff Council is planning to demolish Maindy Velodrome.

Demolition of the track is strongly opposed by world class cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, who trained riders at the track, and Geraint Thomas, who first got into cycling at the track.  Between them they have won 8 Olympic gold medals, 14 World Championships, and the Tour de France!

Geraint Thomas said on Twitter "Without Maindy stadium I’d have never fell in love with cycling, along with many other kids.  Would be so sad to see it demolished!!  Cardiff Council: Save Maindy Velodrome! - Sign the Petition!"

To try and minimise opposition to demolition of the Velodrome, the council has unnecessarily linked it to expanding the neighbouring Cathays High school.  But the school could easily be expanded without demolishing the track: the track area is unstable and cannot be built on.  The council wants to demolish and "replace" Maindy with a shorter, privately-run out-of-town cycle track in its sports village, more than 4 miles from the existing velodrome in the heart of Cardiff.

The historic and much loved Maindy Velodrome can and should be kept and shared between local residents and cycling clubs, Cathays High, and local primary schools, whether or not Cathays High is expanded / rebuilt.  An extra cycle track could be built in the sports village, if that is what the council want to do.

The council has so far ignored the almost universal opposition to demolishing Maindy Velodrome from the many local residents who we've discussed the plans with.  The whole Maindy site is currently open for public use.  It is enjoyed by many people every day for exercising and relaxing.  As well as the velodrome and the central field, there are winding paths around the site, and green areas and benches on which to sit and enjoy the peace and quiet.  Local people treasure having this space in an increasingly built-up neighbourhood.

Maindy Velodrome, also known as Maindy Stadium, is used by many different cycling clubs for training and racing: it is well-located and fit-for-purpose.  Built in 1951, the track hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1958 and was home to Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.  Of the eight Olympic gold medals won by Welsh athletes between 1976 and 2016, four were won by cyclists who trained at Maindy.  It’s a historic place.  The site was given to Cardiff council by the Bute family in 1922, on condition that it is used for public recreation – a commitment the council are now planning to break. 

As a Cathays resident, active member of Cardiff Social Cycling and regular user of Maindy Velodrome, I oppose the plans for the following reasons:

  • There is no need to demolish the track, whether or not the Cathays High school expansion goes ahead.  The track site can’t be built on as the ground is unstable.  The track is a valuable facility for the local community and should be retained and improved for school pupils and the local community.  For a fraction of the cost of demolition, the council could buy a set of bikes and cycling equipment for pupils to use.  Cathays High and local primary schools would be among the few schools anywhere that are lucky enough to have ready access to a proper velodrome on their doorstep.
  • The real reason the council wants to demolish the track is so it can say a ‘replacement’ is needed in the sport village – and redirect £2.4m from the education budget to pay for it.  We think the council’s education budget should be spent on schools, and not on sports facilities several miles away.  If the council build a cycle track in the Bay, it should not be paid for with schools funding.
  • The council's own planning policy states that where existing facilities are removed, alternative facilities must be of at least equal quality and scale to meet community needs and be provided within the vicinity.  The council’s plans would break both of these rules.
  • The track is a heritage site and a well-loved local landmark.  The council’s plans involve tearing up a century-old legal commitment.  The land was given to the people of Cardiff by the 4th Marquis of Bute on condition it was kept permanently for public recreation.  While the council has said there are currently no plans sell any of the land, its published plans are vague and marked “indicative”.  The council would be able to sell off any part of the land if the covenant were broken.
  • Several of the cycling groups who regularly use the track are opposed to its demolition, including Whitchurch Cycling Club.
  • The council has taken great care to not guarantee that the Maindy Velodrome would remain open until the new track is opened.  Similarly, the council has suggested a 1km road circuit in the Bay but have made no guarantees they would build it.
  • Cardiff council has a history of demolishing existing, well-loved sporting facilities and not replacing them for years.  Another Commonwealth games icon, the Empire Pool, was demolished in 1998; its replacement in the sports village in Cardiff Bay did not open until 2008.  The Wales National Ice Rink closed in 2006 and its replacement, again in the sports village, did not open until 2016.

I believe that Maindy Velodrome, the surrounding paths, and the field in the centre of the track should all be kept and improved.  The community and the school could then make better use of the whole area, keeping a valuable space for all of us to use and enjoy.  Any new facilities should be in addition to the existing track.

Let’s stop the closure of this historic and treasured community asset, and together tell the council to back off our track!

-  Please sign this petition with your full name and full postcode to be counted.

-  If you live in Cardiff, let us know if you'd like a free poster to put in your window and show your support!

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Thank you for your support. Together we can do this!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!