Pump up the volume – new BMX track for borough

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A true team effort has put the wheels in motion on a new BMX pump track for the borough.

The upgraded circuit near to Padiham Sports Centre in Park Road will now complement a beginner’s track built in 2014 on the site.

Picture by Julian Brown 03/11/16''Jake Thurlow (10) and Ellie Haworth (8) enjoy the new Skate Track in Padiham near the Leisure Centre

Picture by Julian Brown 03/11/16''Jake Thurlow (10) and Ellie Haworth (8) enjoy the new Skate Track in Padiham near the Leisure Centre

Burnley Council secured the services of Padiham company Landscape Engineering to carry out the work after successfully winning £10,000 funding from the Lancashire Environment Fund and £5,000 from Padiham Town Council.

Regular track users Callum Bullock and Ben Bradley helped with the design, as did students from Shuttleworth College.

A pump track is a small looping trail system of dirt berms and “rollers” (smooth dirt mounds for pumping) for cycling without the rider having to pedal.

Michael Derbyshire, senior engineer at Burnley Council, said: “We built a starter pump track in 2014 and this proved a big success with riders.

“They quickly needed bigger and better challenges to keep them involved in the sport, so we managed to secure funding through an effective partnership with sponsors and Padiham Town Council.

“The second track is more extreme and working with some local riders we have produced a scheme that is more of a challenge to ride.

“Landscape Engineering Ltd won the scheme through competitive tender and have built it according to our designs. We are thrilled with the track, and have even seen their director Gary Birtwell riding it.”

The council believes the track will help in the ongoing fight to tackle obesity among young people.

Simon Goff, head of Green Spaces at the council, said: “Addressing the issues of obesity, keeping young people occupied and achieving maximum value for money is the thinking behind this initiative.

“The project will require little maintenance so we are keen to provide these in as many parks as possible.

“Risk management is down to individual riders, but we feel it is better to promote riding of BMX, skateboards and scooters on defined tracks and not within town centres where it can be seen as dangerous, damaging and confrontational.

“I am a keen advocate of cycling and its benefits to health and try to cycle to work and site visits around my area. This keeps me fit, maintains a low carbon footprint, and proves that cycling can be as quick as driving the car in some instances.”

The Padiham pump track is the fourth such project for Landscape Engineering, which has been based in Padiham for 25 years.

Gary Birtwell, director of Landscape Engineering, said: “Any pump track build is a challenge, they are all different. We have a great construction team, some of whom ride BMX and mountain bikes, so we always have a bike on site when we build.

“When you see users on it, riding a full circuit without pedalling, just using the rocking motion of body weight and balance, we know we have it right.”