Work on developing the final draft designs for Bath Bike Park at the Entry Hill Golf Course site is expected to be completed this month.
The updated designs are being developed by Bristol-based Pedal Progression who were appointed by the council through an open procurement exercise earlier this year to create and run the new park, mountain bike and family cycling centre.
Pedal Progression is drawing on feedback received from residents and groups during a third consultation into the use of the site to achieve the best outcome for potential users and the local community.
The latest survey focussed on the use of the new facilities, examining who would use the site, how frequently and for what purpose. It also asked for people’s thoughts on the cost of using the new facilities.
Five hundred people responded to the consultation with the majority supporting the proposals, saying they were excited about the facilities opening. However, some concerns were raised about the compact location of the site, traffic, parking, air quality, the movement of wildlife and the potential for damage to habitats.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they would use the new facilities with the café, walking and running routes, nature areas and cycle trails proving to be the most popular offers. Many people asked for the walking route to extend right around park and this is now being accommodated in the new design.
Councillor Mark Roper, cabinet assistant for Neighbourhood Services said:
I’d like to thank everyone who took part in this latest consultation. It’s important Bath Bike Park caters not only for those who want to use the mountain bike trails, but for families, walkers and nature-lovers as well. The feedback we’ve received will help to ensure we balance the needs of all park users in the final design.
I was particularly encouraged to see that 70% of people who responded to the survey said they would use sustainable travel options to access the site, either walking or cycling or using a combination of these with public transport.
While 63% of respondents with a disability indicated that they would use the mountain biking trails, the survey revealed a considerable difference between men and women’s likely use of the Bike Park, with 78% of men stating they would use the cycle trails compared to 34% of women. The survey suggested women and girls were much more likely to use the walking and running trails, café and nature area. To address this Pedal Progression will carry out further engagement and outreach work.
Bath Bike Park will provide free access to park areas and trails for walking and cycling, a beginner pump track and a new natural play park. People of all abilities will be able to enjoy an exciting bike ride, using balance bikes and disability trikes, tandems, hybrid and mountain bikes with the site linking to new and existing cycle routes.
New wildlife habitats and wider biodiversity will be encouraged with nature areas, a pond, and additional planting. The new and expanded café will provide viewing areas across the park and to the landscape beyond.
Once finalised, the designs for the new mountain bike and family cycling centre will be submitted to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Planning team for comments in a Pre-Planning application. A full planning application is expected to be submitted this autumn with the park opening next year.
Bath-based planning consultants, PlanningSphere, have been engaged to co-ordinate the requirements for planning application process.
The council has contributed £385,000 capital funding to the project. This funding plus 5% interest will be recovered by the council over the next 20 years. Discussions are continuing with potential funding partners and will be progressed once planning permission is obtained.
Regular updates and more details about the project and outcomes together with the full Phase 3 Community Engagement Report can be found on the Pedal Progression website: https://www.pedalprogression.com/bath-bike-park-faqs/
Matt George, director at Pedal Progression, said:
We’re very excited with the progress made on the Bath Bike Park project so far and are closer than ever to realising the dream! Thank you to all those who responded to the various surveys, reached out to us with concerns, suggestions and support.
It’s our belief that the facility will offer something for everyone. Thanks also to the Bath residents who have visited us in Bristol, in anticipation of Bath Bike Park. We’ve decided not to run an events program at Entry Hill this year, concentrating instead on investing in back of house detail that will ensure that the park will be the best it can be, once of course permitted.