Campaigners have welcomed a positive conference call with British Cycling ©Twitter/WM Velodrome Campaign

Campaigners for a legacy velodrome in Birmingham have welcomed a constructive conference call with British Cycling officials, following the publication of a “Cycling Facility Assessment”.

The Cycling Facility Assessment report, published last month, deemed that construction of a velodrome in the city did not have a "sufficiently strong strategic or business case” for investment.

The report said that “despite the general consensus from track cycling clubs on the need for an indoor velodrome in Birmingham, a number of other clubs and organisations suggested that such significant capital investment could be better placed elsewhere.”

British Cycling commissioned the assessment ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022, with the assessment being carried out by independent sport advisory company 4global.

The report was largely considered to have been commissioned following a drive from campaigners, which urged a velodrome to be constructed for the Games.

The campaign began after Commonwealth Games organisers announced Lee Valley VeloPark in London would host track cycling events, despite being 130 miles away from Birmingham.

In April campaigners calling for a velodrome to be built handed over a petition containing more than 7,000 signatures to Ian Ward, the Birmingham City Council leader and chairman of Birmingham 2022.

The petition organisers acknowledged that the Commonwealth Games cycling would not take place in Birmingham, but have expressed hope that a "more modest training and development velodrome" could be constructed to ensure a legacy from the Games.

A statement from the campaigners welcomed the conference call with British Cycling officials and expressed optimism progress could be made when the coronavirus outbreak is under control.

“Campaigners Dave Viner and Charlie Dickens recently took part in a telephone conference call with officers from British Cycling and other interested parties,” the campaign said.

“We discussed the contents of the Needs Analysis into cycling facilities within Birmingham and nearby.

“Dave and Charlie felt the hour long conference call was constructive, positive and very productive.

“There is every possibility of more progress being made through future discussions when the current situation across the country improves.”

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond is among those to have backed the velodrome campaign ©Dave Viner
Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond is among those to have backed the velodrome campaign ©Dave Viner

The campaigners are hoping a separate study could be produced with the specific focus on a low-cost indoor velodrome.

The group believe analysis of investment into a low-cost velodrome was outside the scope of the Cycling Facility Assessment, while claiming supporting evidence from the campaign had been overlooked.

The report had outlined areas which could be improved to allow for greater access for velodromes, both indoor and outdoor.

Options for covering existing outdoor velodromes in Halesowen and Aldersley with a canopy structure were suggested, along with supporting the clubs to repair track surfaces to extend club usage time and reduce the impact of bad weather cancelling races and training.

Improved access to the Derby Velodrome, such as the booking system, was also among the recommendations.

The Cycling Facility Assessment also examined access to speedway tracks, closed road cycle circuits, BMX tracks and mountain bike venues.

The report concluded with an action plan which summarises the key recommendations of the report, along with the scale of investment required, timescales for delivery and key partners.