Flagship Derby velodrome project threatens to become a white elephant – reader’s letter

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By Derby Telegraph  |  Posted: December 18, 2014

Derby's velodrome – are councillors "spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar"? asks Chris Mills.

Derby’s velodrome – are councillors “spoiling the ship for a ha’porth of tar”? asks Chris Mills.

WHEN the city council’s highly paid consultants suggested a velodrome would meet Derby’s needs, there was much consternation.

How did they come up with that off-the-wall idea?

 Then came the wildlife protesters, and the outside track was dropped. The high-profile cycling venue for the people of Derby became a niche facility for the minority.

But we could still host world-class cycling events, which would draw big crowds. But there is very little permanent seating so, where would they all sit?

And then we’re told that the track isn’t up to world-class standards and will never be the place for the top cyclists to set world records.

Have we spoiled this ship for a ha’porth of tar?

Still, we can still play badminton and we’ll have a venue where the top crowd-pulling acts can perform. But there’s no permanent stage and no seating.

Then I read in the Derby Telegraph that it takes eight weeks to set the place up for the university’s graduation ceremony “Wait goes on for Arena opening date” (December 11).

Consider doing that for each big concert; then clearing away afterwards.

Three or four big events a year and the sporting courts will be defunct. Even a single concert would disrupt the continuity for any clubs or leagues that might look to use the facility.

And then there’s the matter of the timber track.

On a site visit, before the velodrome was complete, we were told that the track was very sensitive to temperature and humidity variations. I hope the plant can cope with a few thousand concert-goers complete with amps and lighting pumping out heat and humidity.

And what future for the track when the council cuts-back on maintenance?

And now Moorways is closing and the QLC is on borrowed time. I fear that what was conceived as a ‘flagship project’ will be born a ‘white elephant’.

Just think! We could have saved those consultants’ fees and built the new world-class pool that has been promised to the town for years, instead.

Chris Mills

Swanmore Road

Littleover

Read more: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Flagship-Derby-velodrome-project-threatens-white/story-25716551-detail/story.html#ixzz3MMQPIxbW

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