Fresh approach to PedalPark cycle track as social enterprise

Neil Turner of Pedal Revolution at the former RAF Coltishall site where the new PedalPark will be se

Neil Turner of Pedal Revolution at the former RAF Coltishall site where the new PedalPark will be set up with a track around the airfield.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

The largest traffic-free cycle circuit in Europe will be run as a social enterprise as organisers of the PedalPark at RAF Coltishall have had to alter their plans.

Tour de Broads route map 2016

Tour de Broads route map 2016 - Credit: Archant

Delays in securing planning permission meant the launch event for the park, due for May 8, had to be abandoned, and a potential £75,000 grant from Sport England was missed.

Now Pedal Revolution will cover the entire cost of setting up the park, and is working in earnest to have it prepared for their flagship event in August: Tour de Broads.

'We put a lot of time, effort and money into that bid, but now we have to move on,' said Neil Turner, of Pedal Revolution.

'We will step up and fund the whole project, and the social enterprise will run the venue. Our passion is to run it that way, and have it to engage the local community to be active, and achieve more.


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'British Cycling have risk- assessed, and we can run 100 people at a time on the track, which is unheard of for a project of this size. Once complete this will be the biggest track of its kind in Europe, and we believe the only bigger one in the world is in Dubai.'

The park also plans to launch a family-friendly cycling club called The Jets, which seeks to provide a platform for youngsters to enter the sport.

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Saturday sessions at the park will be focused on sport, with training and trials, while Sundays will be given over to family sessions.

'It is so difficult to get young people into cycling, and there are difficulties with them joining clubs under the age of 16,' added Mr Turner.

'The Jets will all be about inspiring young people to ride as much as they like in a completely traffic-free environment.

'By the time we launch we will have a fleet of tandems and limited mobility options, handcycles and electric bikes, so we will be totally inclusive.'

Over 800 people have now signed up for Tour de Broads on August 21, and the team hopes to inspire around 3,000 riders in total.

Three routes between 40 and 100 miles are available, with riders setting out from the three-mile Pedalpark circuit.

For more information and to apply visit www.tourdebroads.com.

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