Re-open the Cycling track at the Mountbatten Centre
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.
British Cycling Level 3 Road & Time-Trial Coach,
Coach & Youth Development,
Portsmouth North End Cycling Club.