A PETITION urging Kildare Co Council (KCC) to build a national standard BMX bike track at the Cherry Avenue park site in Kildare town has received over 230 signatures so far on MyUplift.
The council has said that the masterplan for the park in Cherry Avenue went through a Part 8 (planning application) process in 2018 and was approved by members of Kildare-Newbridge Municipal District. That plan included a “pump track through a woodland”, which the council described it as a BMX track suitable for people new to BMX.
“Funding of €100k is allocated in this year’s budget to progress the detail design of the park and construction,” a statement to the Kildare Nationalist said.
However Ross Dunleavy, who has been involved in this campaign for a number of years now, said that there is no competitive or event element to a pump track. What the campaign is looking for, he noted, is a BMX race track that will be able to accommodate national standard events and will also be suitable for beginners.
“You wouldn’t be able to base a club from it, which is what we’re trying to do,” he added of the pump track. “Basically what we’re looking to do is demonstrate the demand for a national standard BMX track in the new park in Cherry Avenue. I’ve been in and out to the council now for the last… two or three years campaigning for this… I have the developer who is willing to pay for it, I’ve got a former BMX world champion who’s onboard to design it, and I have an international track builder who is onboard to build it – all free of charge to Kildare County Council. All we need is two acres in the new park.”
He added that the Council have said that “there isn’t a space within the park for the proposed BMX track” and that “they think it’s going to take up too much of the park”.
According to the campaign, BMX is suitable for all ages and abilities and is a great way for families to bond over a common interest, adding that because of the involvement of adults in mentoring and coaching young riders, there is no prospect of antisocial behaviour. It could also provide a bike tourism attraction for the town, drawing families to try the sport and raising revenues through additional footfall in local businesses, they said.
One person who signed the petition said that the bike track would represent an amazing opportunity for children and adults to experience a fantastic sport.
Ross explained that the response to the petition so far has been great, highlighting the positive comments they have received. “We’re just hoping to encourage the Council to back us, whether it be within Cherry Avenue or in an alternative site,” he said.
For more information, search ‘BMX track for Kildare Town’ on my.uplift.ie.