The Somerset BMX ‘Pumping Track’ Backed By Reef Rockers Unanimously Approved


Somerset BMXers will soon be able to train on a new “pump track” after the plans are unanimously approved.

Grant Garge, president of the Ride Mendips group, asked to create the facility near the Cheddar Reservoir, near the village rugby club.

More than 1,200 people have signed an online petition in support of the projects, which has also drawn support from fellow Reef groupers, Jack Bessant and Gary Stringer.

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Sedgemoor District Council has now given the green light to the proposals, meaning the new facility could be in place by early 2022.

The site is located near the existing pavilion, between the skate park and the Sharpham Playing Fields.

An authorization had already been granted in August 2020 for an identical installation 75 meters to the south; However, this was deemed impractical due to a Bristol water pipe running through the site.

The pumping track consists of an inclined circuit with tight turns, with the riders using their momentum and balance to complete the course as quickly as possible.

Ride Mendips said the project would be of huge benefit to the village youth and encourage the community to become more active.

A spokesperson said: “We see this as a fantastic opportunity to provide a safe learning ground for young people to exercise outdoors and develop their cycling skills.

“The project enjoys tremendous support from the local community and was supported by the majority of the Cheddar Parish Council.

Over £ 100,000 has been raised for the project since the track was first offered by Ride Mendips in December 2018.

The draft was submitted to the District Council Development Committee when it met in Bridgwater on Tuesday October 12th.

While the parish council generally supported the project, District Councilor Paul Fineran said he remained opposed to the implementation of this project on public land.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, he said: “The terms of the lease prevent the construction of structures other than a lodge here in the interest of keeping playgrounds green and open.

“If the application were authorized, it would lead to the urbanization of open green spaces by the construction of paved roads on the site.

“Its location between two live rugby pitches is also likely to lead to potential accidents with balls hitting track users – the very reason the previous ‘Cheddar Woods’ track was closed.

“I am sure this facility could be located in a more suitable location.”

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Against Mr Fineran’s objections, the project received nearly 100 letters of support from local residents, as well as support from the Fairlands Middle School, the Wessex Learning Trust, the Cheddar Valley rugby and football teams and the The Space charity for mental health.

In light of this, the committee voted unanimously to approve the plans.

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