LEGACY COMPANY SUBMITS PLANS TO COMPLETE ‘WORLD-CLASS’ VELOPARK

The creation of one of the best cycling facilities in Europe took another step forward today with the submission of plans to develop outdoor tracks immediately after the 2012 Games.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company will build a one mile road cycle circuit and around 8km of mountain bike trails around the existing Velodrome and BMX track, which will host many of Britain’s medal hopefuls next year.

The Lee Valley VeloPark will sit in the north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in its most picturesque area. The road cycle circuit will cross the River Lea in two places and be framed in the south by wetlands, park spaces and tow-paths for walkers and cyclists to enjoy. The plans will also create a new park for Hackney, which can also host small scale events.

The plans have been agreed by British Cycling, Sport England and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority - who will own and operate the Lee Valley VeloPark after the Games - while closely consulting with users including Eastway cyclists.

Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:

“These top-class outdoor cycling facilities will add to the already impressive Velodrome to create a complete cycling complex that will appeal to a wider range of riders and spectators.

“Our plans also include the creation of a new park space with attractive waterways and open spaces for everyone to enjoy. It is another example of how plans for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are more advanced than any previous host Olympic City.”

Ian Drake, Chief Executive of British Cycling, said:

“We’re delighted to lend our support to the plans which, if passed, will provide yet another fantastic facility for cyclists. Such facilities are essential if we’re to continue to attract more people to the sport and this will be a legacy from 2012 in which we can all take great pride.”

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, said:

“This is a significant step forwards for Lee Valley VeloPark which we are confident will become the finest hub for cycling in the world with four disciplines on offer to cyclists of all levels.

“We’ve already put in the foundations to ensure Lee Valley VeloPark will be busy 52 weeks a year delivering a solid cycling legacy to the whole community – clubs, schools, elite cyclists and spectators.”

Richard Lewis, Chair of Sport England, said:

“It is fantastic that all those inspired by next year’s Games will be able to get back on their bikes and access the first-class facilities on offer at VeloPark, including the outdoor tracks. From budding track cyclists, BMX riders and families who want a day out on their bikes, VeloPark will ensure a lasting participation legacy beyond London 2012.”

The road cycle circuit, which replaces the old Eastway Cycle Circuit, features a series of loops to the west of the Velodrome and a large single loop to the east of the venue.

The circuit is engineered to provide a variety of right and left turns, straights, rises and falls along its route. It has been laid out so several shorter sections of the track can also be used, while the circuit can be lit to enable night-time use and competition.

The mountain bike trails form a loop which runs from the north-east corner of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, past the Velodrome and heads north under the A12 to East Marsh. From there it runs eastwards through Eton Manor and then back under the A12.

In total, the trails will stretch for around 8km, although cyclists will be able to pit their skills on three different sections rated as easy, intermediate and difficult. There will also be a skills training area with jumps, grade reversals and level changes.

The Legacy Company will also regrade the Games-time BMX track in the north-east of the Park after the Games to complete the package of public outdoor facilities.

The plans also provide a pedestrian path connecting the Velodrome to Waltham Forest in the north.

Plans for the VeloPark have been created by a design team including Hopkins Architects Practice and LDA Design.Hargreaves who designed the Velodrome and the Olympic parklands respectively.

The new park space will sit to the south of the cycle circuit and to the west of the River Lea. Plans for the green space were created after the Legacy Company revised an earlier planning application to realign the circuit to create the community space.

A visitor centre and large-scale playground is also planned for the north park, to the south of the cycle circuit. The Legacy Company ran a competition for architectural firms to design the facilities.

The Planning Decisions Team at the Olympic Delivery Authority will undertake a statutory consultation on the application between 14th December 2011 and 11th January 2012. The plans can be viewed by visiting www.london2012.com/planning