Off-road cycling trail plan for Western Park in Leicester
An off-road mountain bike trail could be built around a city park.
Cyclists who use Western Park want to create the 4km track through the wooded areas surrounding the well-used green space.
The group has put the idea to Leicester City Council, which has launched a consultation on the idea, asking other park users for their views.
The track – called the blue route – would be for intermediate riders and include small jumps, drop-offs and tight corners, running round the circumference of the whole park. The plans include an upgrade to a small existing track for more experienced riders – the red route – near Hinckley Road.
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The plans are the idea of keen off-road cyclist Rick Wells, 49, from Western Park, Leicester.
"I had the idea more than six years ago, but back then nobody wanted to know anything about it," he said. "But there seems to be a change of attitude now, which is great.
"There are no off-road cycle trails in the city at all, and Western Park seemed like a good location because of its layout and close proximity to the various estates.
"People I have spoken to so far really like the idea – but they are cyclists, so of course they would. We are expecting some opposition from walkers but, in reality, it should not really be a problem – all it will mean is they might have to cross the trail once or twice to use the park."
If the idea is approved, it would not be funded by the city council, and park users would have to source grants to pay for the route.
The blue route would run anti-clockwise, with crossing points between the bike trail and pedestrian routes designed to slow riders down.
Removal of vegetation would be needed in some areas, but where possible the trail would follow existing natural lines and ecological surveys would be carried out before any work.
Andy Salkeld, cycling coordinator at Leicester City Council, said: "I think it is really positive that park users are coming forward with their ideas of how to improve a facility they use and enjoy," he said.
"It is at a very early stage, but the response to the idea has been positive."
The park already has a wide cycle path running through it, a stretch of the UK National Cycle Route.
The plans have the support of charities Bikes For All and Groundworks, The Friends of Western Park and the Western Park User Group.
To comment on the plans, write to Standards and Development Team, Leicester City Council, Castle Park Depot, 90 Leycroft Road, Leicester, LE4 1BZ, call 0116 223 2240, before October 19 or e-mail: