BMX track planned for city

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INVERCARGILL might soon have a National Standard BMX track.

The Southland BMX Club’s plan to develop the Elizabeth Park track in South Invercargill picked up momentum this week after the Invercargill City Council Infrastructure and Services Committee approved the project.

It would still need to be approved by full council and public consultation would be required.

The proposal was to construct a multi-level bike area and a pump track to national standards.

Club secretary Ngarita Te Patu said the track at Elizabeth Park was falling well below the required standards, with club members struggling to advance due to the track conditions.

“We want to be proactive and also build something which will make Southland proud.”

The standard for most tracks around the country was a start ramp of 4.5m to 5.5m with a covered staging area on the top. The berms or corners were sealed.

Currently, the track had a 2.7m ramp with a gentle gradient, the corners were not sealed and required a large amount of maintenance.

“The current track is great for the general community and our beginner/intermediate riders, but once they have attained the skills to confidently ride the track there is no avenue to progress skills beyond.”

She said the club had 82 members, aged from 4 to 49 years.

Ms Te Patu said she would like to have more than 100 members using the new track.

Another positive factor would be the community asset.

The club would provide helmets and bikes for residents to have a go.

“We believe that we gave a number of riders who are capable of future New Zealand rankings, if they have the facilities, to advance their training.”

Crs Leslie Soper and Toni Biddle praised the project and said the project would be a great asset for the community and would also activate Elizabeth Park.

The club would fund part of the proposal and the intention was to obtain funding from community groups to assist with the development of the track and facilities.

The estimated coast was $418,000, but this was based on quotes and costs experienced by other BMX clubs.

A designer would be engaged to design the track if council approved the plan at a meeting next week.

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