Tour of Britain legacy project nears completion in Cornwall as the 2021 tour begins
With Tour of Britain riders preparing for the Grand Depart in Penzance, the legacy of the Tour is progressing across the county. Ten community cycle tracks are being built throughout Cornwall to provide dedicated facilities for cyclists of all abilities to enjoy. The project is being coordinated by walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, and is funded by Cornwall Council, British Cycling and the schools the tracks are situated in.
Sustrans is working with schools across Cornwall to deliver these community cycle tracks. They will be used by the schools and will be available for use by the wider community too.
Many of these tracks are being built near this year’s Tour of Britain cycle route, in Penzance, Camborne, Falmouth, Truro, Newquay, Bodmin, Liskeard, Charlestown and Stratton.
Seven of the tracks have already been completed. They are tailor made by specialist track builders. The remaining tracks will be built during the autumn.
British Cycling is running training for the school staff to enable them to lead cycle sessions. Some schools have also purchased fleets of bikes that can be used on the track. Local community clubs will be able to book the tracks for use.
Cornwall BMX club have also received funding from Cornwall Council and British Cycling for a new portable building that will be used as a coaching and club resource.
Sustrans’ Active Travel Officer, Nick Ratcliffe, who co-ordinated the cycle track programme said: “It is so exciting to see the tracks being built. Despite the pandemic, school staff have been incredible in pushing it forward. I take my hat off to them all.
“These tracks will provide these communities with somewhere safe and local for people of all abilities to learn and enjoy. They will help to encourage greater cycle confidence and develop bike handling skills.
I hope that the tracks not only generate enthusiasm for more active lifestyles in the community, but also develop local talent. Maybe a future Olympic star will start their cycling career on one of these tracks.”
This cycle track programme is one of many cycling projects being implemented by Cornwall Council that have been inspired by Tour of Britain’s approaching visit.
Philip Desmonde, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said: “These facilities are a fantastic boost for cycling in Cornwall, particularly as we ‘gear up’ to host the Tour of Britain’s Grand Depart stage.
“This project is about encouraging confidence and helping people – particularly young cyclists – to develop their bike handling skills. Being at the heart of their local communities, schools are the ideal location for these tracks.”
Andy Farr, Head of Business Planning and Transformation at British Cycling, said: “We are really pleased to be supporting Cornwall Council, the schools and other partners, in delivering a network of opportunities for cycling, which we hope will encourage more young people and their families and friends to take up cycling and enjoy the benefits of being physically active.”
Photo: image taken from video created by keiranhammond.com