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Bike track could replace putt golf course in Harrogate's Valley Gardens

North Yorkshire Council is proposing to replace the pitch and putt golf course in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens with a “pump track” for bikes.

Bike track could replace putt golf course in Harrogate's Valley Gardens North Yorkshire Council is proposing to replace the pitch and putt golf course in Harrogate’s Valley Gardens with a “pump track” for bikes. A pump track is a circular loop that consists of slopes and bumps and they have been described as being like a small rollercoaster for riders of bikes such as BMXs. They are designed to maximize momentum and encourage movement with minimal pedalling. The council, which took over the running of the popular park in April from Harrogate Borough Council, has launched a public consultation on the potential move which would transform a large area of Valley Gardens. If it’s supported, the new facility could be open by April next year. The track would be accessible all year round, unlike the golf course which has to be closed during wet weather. It would be free-of-charge and would complement the skate park, which opened in 2011. The council said there has been a “significant drop” in people using the pitch and putt course over the last decade despite attempts to attract visitors. It’s expected the bike track would cost around £2,000 to install by its in-house parks team. North Yorkshire Council’s corporate director for environment, Karl Battersby, said:

“We are running a six-week consultation to see what people think of the idea of a ‘free of charge’ compressed hardcore beginners’ pump track as an addition to our popular Valley Gardens. "The track proposed would have gentle slopes, curves and bumps, be accessible all year, and replace the existing nine-hole pitch and putt golf course. “The decision to look at closing the golf course has been made for numerous reasons including a significant drop in people using it over the last 10 years, despite attempts to increase popularity by reducing it from 18 holes to nine, introducing season tickets and working with schools. “Equally, unpredictable weather and natural springs creates sloping wet land making it unsuitable for golf for a large portion of the year."
Karl Battersby added:
“We do not want to close an activity in the gardens without replacing it and a pump track would lend itself to the existing slopes and bumps in this area. "We are always looking to enhance our parks and the proposed track would also work alongside promoting nature and wildlife as we would also plant more trees and longer grass areas. “If there is support we hope the track, which would be installed by the council’s parks team, could be in place by April next year.”
Take part in the consultation here. By Thomas Barrett, Local Democracy Reporter Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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