Olympic mountain bike course could become trail centre

Essex residents say Hadleigh Farm should be opened up to all abilities

The Olympic mountain bike course at Hadleigh Farm in Essex could be developed into a trail centre, if local people get their way.

Asked what they'd like to see done with the Salvation-Army-owned site after the London 2012 Games, nine out of 10 residents questioned said they saw cycling as either quite important (13%) or very important (77%). Eighty-seven percent said visitor facilities should be improved.

The Hadleigh Farm Legacy Consultation questionnaire, sent to 40,000 local people by Essex County Council, also asked what sort of users the mountain bike course should be developed for – from elite riders through to families and groups. Residents said the trails should be made accessible to as many different levels of rider as possible.

Councillor Stephen Castle, cabinet member for education and the 2012 Games, said: "As we'd hoped, the people of Essex are keen to maintain the mountain bike course and open the venue up to the wider pubic for a number of different uses. We're committed to making the most of the opportunity of hosting the London 2012 mountain bike events to create a legacy for not just Hadleigh but for Essex."

Mr Castle said the council would work with the local community and other stakeholders to develop plans over the coming months. This includes holding a series of consultation workshops to determine the priorities of specific community groups, including walkers, runners, horse riders and nature/history buffs as well as cyclists. Plans for the site are expected to be finalised in early spring 2012.

You can check out BikeRadar's video of the 2012 Olympic cross-country course below:

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