Riders injured on the track, say BMX gang

sp90498 Riddings BMX Track Complaint.
sp90498 Riddings BMX Track Complaint.

TEENAGE BMX riders claim several riders have been injured because of the state of a council-built bike track in Riddings.

They say riders have sustained minor injuries in recent weeks, but council bosses say those using the track off Greenhill Lane should take responsibility for themselves.

But when the riders tried to make improvements themselves they were told to stop. Rhys White, 16, said: “It hasn’t been drained and there are massive puddles, glass and rocks. The ramps are jagged – it’s too dangerous to ride.

“My brother Bradley, who is 13, fell off last night and fractured his thumb and scratched his face. My mate Callum dislocated his thumb. We sent emails to the council saying it’s too dangerous. We took shovels and started digging it ourselves. We were trying to improve it because they wouldn’t finish it. The work is unprofessional. But there’s nowhere else to ride around here.”

The £20,000 track was created in November 2010, with advice from BMX professionals, but severe winter weather then disrupted works and caused ruts and water logging. Amber Valley Borough Council’s landscape services manager Sharon Thomas said: “Individual riders should assess their own abilities and limits before they use the BMX track. We gave assurances to the local BMX group that we would re-commence works in spring when ground conditions improved however, by this time the conditions worsened after further use of the site and unauthorised modifications were made which resulted in craters and ditches.”

The council says it met with the group and made further improvements using its designs. Ms Thomas added: “Some further stone picking is still required for the outer areas but the council has not received any further complaints about the site since modifications were completed in April. We are happy to discuss any further concerns about the site if the group wishes to contact us directly.”

But the riders remain dissatisfied. Rhys said: “If they put their minds to it, that track could be really good.

“We just don’t want it to be not done right and then when summer comes nobody rides on it.”

A skateboard park was considered for the site but the anticipated cost of up to £280,000 meant it was ruled out.