2,000 signatures needed to help bring ‘bigger, better’ skate park to Ely Country Park
PUBLISHED: 12:19 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:19 13 October 2020
A group of Ely residents are campaigning to get a “bigger, better” skate park and new BMX pump track built in Ely Country Park – but they need 2,000 signatures before pitching the idea to councillors.
Stan Hickish, who has been campaigning as Riding and Skating Ely (RASE) since 2017 to get the project started, has since been joined by dozens of local residents from the skateboarding community and the cycling community including Stan Hickish, Jo Pearson, Keith Gibson, Fade Vilkos and Alex Etges.
They have launched an online petition with Change.org with the aim of getting 2,000 signatures which will enable them to speak and put their case forward for five minutes at a full council meeting.
Among the campaign’s supporters is Angela Haylock, from the What’s Your Game? project, which is aiming to get children and their families more active in Ely and Littleport.
She said: “I understand that there may be funding available for these schemes, but the biggest hurdle is the lack of suitable land.
“We are in talks with both the City of Ely Council and East Cambridgeshire District Council to see what we can achieve for the young people of Ely and surrounding areas.”
She added that while Ely has a small skate park in St John’s Road “this is not big enough to cater for the large numbers of users and those with different abilities. “It is also opposite houses and some residents are annoyed with the noise that the skateboarders create with their tricks.
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“We do not, however, have a BMX pump track in Ely. A pump track is designed for all things on wheels.
“From mountain bikes to BMXs. By combining rolling jumps with turns they are accessible for all.”
She added that the country park has been chosen as “it is just far enough away from residential areas not to cause a noise nuisance but close enough to the town and transport hubs so that young people can attend under their own steam and not rely on others, therefore reducing traffic”.
Neil Ellis from Skateboard England said: “Skateboard England and Skateboard GB are fully supportive of the Ely Skatepark Project.
“The group has shown full commitment to working with multiple community groups and various stakeholders to ensure the best practice in developing this project.
“As the growth of skateboarding in the UK continues to increase, the requirement for well-planned skateparks is needed.”
To sign the petition, visit: www.change.org/p/help-ely-skatepark
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