BMX track option in coastal walkway plan

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2013

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New Plymouth's coastal walkway could soon lead to a new world class BMX track at Bell Block.

The New Plymouth BMX Club told last night's New Plymouth District Council policy committee meeting it wanted to move from its "outdated" Marfell Park track to a new one at Hickford Park that would meet international standards.

Club president Blair Riddick said club members were spending large amounts of time travelling to centres with better tracks.

It would pay for the new $600,000 facility through grants and fundraising and hoped it could bring thousands of people to New Plymouth for events.

The club would like the new track to be located next to the new cycle park and velodrome that were completed last year.

The Taranaki Softball Association holds the lease on the land but has given its support in principle and would move its playing diamond further along Hickford Park.

The BMX club said the site has trees that would provide riders on the track with essential shelter from the wind.

The deputation was made to the policy committee so it could be considered as part of the Bell Block Coastal Walkway Extension Consultation Plan, which was considered by the committee last night.

Three new routes are being considered to extend New Plymouth's coastal walkway north through to Tiromoana Cres.

The options have been labelled the coastal route, the Hickford Park Sports Park route and the inland route, which is the shortest.

People spoken to by the Taranaki Daily News early this month voiced strong support for the coastal extension and against the inland option.

Parkvue Dr residents in Bell Block raised concerns at the impact of having the walkway going past their homes.

Last night, committee members moved to recommend that the council instruct its officers to put the three route options out for public consultation.

It also recommended that the council agree to include the BMX track's proposal in the community consultation and a report be presented to council to allow formal consideration and address leasing options.

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