The Royal Docks in East London can be used for weekend racing from now on, finally giving users of the former Eastway circuit a new venue.
British Cycling said today that they have signed an agreement with the London Development Agency (LDA) to this affect. The agreement will hold at least until the new circuit at Hog Hill is in full use.
The facility will make use of the tarmac airstrip laid for the Red Bull Air Race in the summer and other areas of existing tarmac or concrete to create a circuit approximately 800m long. The LDA will provide temporary toilets and most of the equipment from Eastway is already on site and available for use.
"Although this may not be an ideal long-term solution. it will provide somewhere in the inner city area for young and old alike to race and train while we wait for Hog Hill to be completed and maybe beyond," said British Cycling's CE Peter King. "The site is almost all hard surface, is fenced and patrolled by security guards and has lighting which may be useful if we can secure evening access. It will provide a safe, secure environment for cycling to take place and I am sure local schools and clubs will put it to good use."
The agreement will be reviewed at the end of November in light of the progress of the Hog Hill site. If there are more delays there, it's possible that more tarmac will be laid at the Royal Docks to create a full 1km circuit for the 2008 season.
The London Fire Brigade has a licence to use the site during weekday working hours for training and practice. British Cycling is proposing talks so that riders will be able to train and race when the LFB aren't using the Docks.