Work to begin on Scotland’s first cycle circuit – Fife Cycle Park
Work on Scotland’s first purpose built cycle circuit, in Fife, will begin next week.
The 1.6km outdoor circuit, which will be built on land between Lochgelly High School and Lochore Meadows Country Park, will offer cycling opportunities in a traffic free environment to people of all ages and abilities.
Opening in early 2018, the facility will ensure clubs, groups and events have a top class facility to develop riders and run a wide range of community activities.
The circuit will be a tarmac road, built to ‘A Road’ standard that allows for a full range of cycling activities to take place in a traffic free environment all year round. The total distance of the road will be around 1.6km; offering various circuit layout options within this of 1.6km, 1km, 500m and 250m. Customers will be able to choose from a variety of circuit configurations with several groups or sessions using the facility at the same time, and will be open all year round.
Cllr Judy Hamilton, Convener of the Council’s Community & Housing Services Committee explained: “We are committed to meeting the growing demand to develop cycling in Fife and this is one of the ways in which we are doing just that. The project has gained national attention already from the country’s strong cycling community and Fife Cycle Park will be able to attract regional, Scottish and British Championship events.
“It’s about so much more than delivering something new for existing cyclists though. There are still lots of people unable to access or return to cycling as an activity for sport, leisure or utility. The programmes at Fife Cycle Park will help to break down the main barriers to cycling by offering a range of bikes and activities for every ability and age of the local population enabling them to develop their skills and confidence.
“Children need to learn to ride a bike. This facility will offer fun lessons from balance bikes for toddlers to school children developing their skills. With most nurseries now delivering balance bike projects, this is the natural home for the next steps.
“Investing in physical activity, sport and sustainable travel, at a time when the council is facing increasingly tough budget pressures, helps to contribute to our bigger long term goals. The Council has a responsibility to improve people’s access to sport and physical activity. The more we can do now to encourage people to be and stay active, as a preventative measure, the less the health-spend in the future.”
Fife Cycle Park has secured funding contributions from sportscotland and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland said: “sportscotland is delighted to work in partnership with Fife Council and Scottish Cycling to support this terrific facility. It brings together a number of initiatives for cycling and the local community, and is a great example of the world-class sporting system that we are developing in Scotland.
“Located next to the High School and adjacent to Lochore Meadows, the setting is ideal as it links to the existing cycling network and other community facilities. That’s why we were delighted to invest £300,000 in this project, which we believe will have a significant role to play in providing more and better sporting and physical activity opportunities, both locally and nationally.”
Triathlon Scotland’s CEO Jane Moncrieff added: “It is great that Fife Council value cycling as much as we do, and we are delighted that the local community will have such a fantastic facility to use all year round. The Fife Cycle Park is also a welcome addition to the triathlon community and is a welcome addition to the already great facilities for triathlon in Lochgelly.
“The Lochore Meadows country park has played host to numerous triathlon participation and Scottish Championship events over the years and the addition of the cycle loop will help us to develop more opportunities for children to take part in our sport.
“We will also be able to use the new facilities to provide bespoke coach development opportunities, such as our popular cycling skills for women session, and our members will benefit too by being able to book the site for club training sessions.”
To keep up to date with the latest on Fife Cycle Park as the project develops, follow @VeloFife on Twitter, Cycling in Fife on Facebook or visit www.fifedirect.org.uk/cyclingcircuit.