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For example, the SWOT analysis could recognise the threat and distraction of other leisureTable 2: Cycling Sports SWOT Analysis ? Clubs and Schools


Sport Leeds would like to acknowledge the contribution and support of the following organisations and individuals in producing the

    Development Plan for Cycling in Leeds:

Alan Edmondson Leeds Mercury CC

    Johnny Clay British Cycling

    Dean Wilkinson West Yorkshire Sport

    Jeremy Hayes BMX

    Peter Root British Cycling Regional Development Officer

    Peter Sutton British Cycling

    Richard Purchon Seacroft Wheelers

    Mark Barry Youth Cycling

    Phil Norfolk Leeds Mercury CC

    Martin Blacoe Carr Manor High School

    Tim Parry Leeds City Council Sustainable Transport

    Councillor Roger Harington Ward Member, Leeds City Council Jane Cash Leeds City Council Parks & Countryside

    Roger Brookes Leeds City Council Countryside and Access

    Charlie Pyatt School Sports Partnerships

    Lynne Wallis University of Leeds

    Mike Taylor - Cycling volunteer

    Sean Sayers Cycling volunteer

This document is available free of charge on audio cassette, CD, large print, braille and a number of community languages. If you

    would like it in another format, or know of someone who might, please contact Leeds Sport Development Unit on 0113 3950001 or



1.1 Introduction

The Cycling Sports Development Plan for Leeds (hereafter refered to as „the Plan‟) is one of a series of Sport Development Plans that have

    been developed for the benefit of sports participants across the city of Leeds. The Plan is a direct outcome of the Sport and Active Recreation Strategy for the City of Leeds - „Taking the Lead‟.

    The Plan is not owned by any one individual and will not be delivered by a single agency. The Plan is the responsibility of the sport cycling community across Leeds with support from regional and national partners, and its delivery relies on all partners and partnerships. The targets that are set will be achieved through the collective effort and work of a range of sports organizations, and the achievements, challenges and successes should be shared by everyone involved in the sport of cycling in the City.

     However, aspects of developing cycling as a mode of transport are not included in this sports development plan. Matters including improving the highway for cyclists, providing specific highway facilities and routes for cycling, providing traffic free cycling paths, road safety schemes, road safety cycle training schemes, Travel wise promotion of cycling to school and work and cycle parking are dealt with through the West Yorkshire Local Transport Plan. For further information, please contact the City Development Cycling Officer on 0113 3951470 email:

2.1 Places


    Places to ride are key to the development of cycling. Children learn to ride bicycles in a variety of situations ranging from back gardens to public parks but if people of all ages wish to compete then they need safe, appropriate, traffic-free environments. If the sport is to develop we need these people to get involved in competition at an early age but only after they have engaged in a suitable training programme. Children also need to learn to ride on-road as riding safely in traffic is paramount. Some of the different cycling disciplines and facilities are listed below: Track Cycling

    There is a grass cycling track based at Roundhay Park in North Leeds, which is used for competitive cycling during the summer months. However the facility is in need of major improvements to maintain the required standards. There are no hard surface / velodrome sport cycling facilities in Leeds.

    Cycle Speedway

    There are no facilities for this at present within the city.

     BMX Tracks

    There is a BMX track located on the site of Yeadon Tarn in North Leeds, which was originally used by the Leeds BMX Club. The site is still well used, but is in need of refurbishment. A new national standard track has just been built on the land next to Fearnville Leisure Centre, which it is hoped will host the re-established Leeds BMX Club. In addition to these two sites, there may be opportunities to construct further BMX tracks, located in different areas of the city, to provide access for the people of Leeds.

The Works Skate Park based in Hunslet also caters for BMX and is an indoor facility that is available all year round.

     Road Racing - closed road circuits

    There are no closed circuit facilities in Leeds and the nearest facility is located at the Richard Dunne Centre in Bradford. Road Racing - other facilities

    There may be opportunities to close town centres for Criterium races similar to the Otley Town Centre annual event. There may also be opportunities to utilise existing facilities such as outdoor go karting tracks and large car parking areas.

    Mountain Biking / Recreational cycling



Although Recreation Mountain Biking has grown dramatically since the first bikes appeared in the mid 1980‟s, to the point where it is estimated

    that some 13 million adults in the UK now own a mountain bike, there are virtually no specific mountain biking sites in Leeds. Although some of the associated demand is met by the bridleway and byway network, there remains a considerable unsatisfied requirement for use of tracks and trails outside the public rights of way network. There are plans to produce a guide to legal off road legal cycling routes around Leeds.

    Mountain biking facilities can be placed into two specific groups which are: Cross Country Trails and Site Specific mountain biking facilities.

    In Leeds there are many opportunities for recreational cross country cycling across the city using the types of routes described above and there is also a very successful but relatively small mountain bike jump course at Temple Newsam Park, which was built by local riders in partnership with Parks and Countryside. The possibility exists to extend this course further and there may also be an opportunity to develop a longer MTB single track/downhill course on Otley Chevin, but this will need further investigation.

2.2 Clubs and Schools

    2.2.1 There are many and varied cycling clubs across the Leeds area covering 5 cycling disciplines who are affiliated to British Cycling, some

    of which have a junior section, though most clubs are available to children.

    2.2.2 Leeds Mercury are working towards the „Go Ride‟ Clubmark Accreditation scheme and is the only club in Leeds to be doing so.

    2.2.3 The range of provision varies between the clubs; for example, there is a difference between the standards and ownership of facilities.

    Some clubs are better organised with a formal constitution and affiliation to BC. Similarly, some clubs are able to offer participation and

    coaching programmes for many age groups and at various levels, while others can only cater for recreational cycling.

    2.2.4 There are a number of schools in Leeds affiliated to B.C. There is however, a tremendous opportunity to deliver more cycling

    opportunities through the Schools Sports Partnerships (SSP‟s), though there are some instances of good practice currently taking place.



2.2.5 B C have also developed the “Go-Ride” scheme to engage more young people in cycling. Go-Ride in school clubs provide high quality

    coaching activities, delivered in a traffic-free environment. All coaching is done by British Cycling qualified coaches and teachers who

    have completed a recognised British Cycling training course.

    2.2.6 There is an extensive network of cycling opportunities across all three Universities at the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan

    University and Trinity and All Saints College. All three have road racing clubs, mountain biking clubs and recreational cycling clubs and

    consistently take part in British Universities Sports Association competitions.

2.3 People

    2.3.1 Like many sports, cycling benefits from a strong volunteer base within the local clubs, but does not have the capacity of other high

    profile sports to provide as many coaching opportunities as the sport would like out in the schools and community.

    2.3.2 There are a number of BC qualified coaches across the cycling clubs and there are also a number of teachers who are qualified to

    deliver cycling in schools.

    2.3.3 Leeds City Council‟s Sport Development Unit will aim to support key partners in achieving some of the outcomes set out in the action

    plan. The council also provides support in schools across the city through the very successful Road Safety Cycle Training Programme

    and in the future, the British Cycling “bikeability” programme.

    2.4 Competition

    There is one major competition in Leeds the Otley Town Centre criterium which takes place annually in June for all categories,

    ranging from the Youth to the Elite.

    At Roundhay Park , the West Riding Track League takes place on Monday evenings during the summer months.

    Informal “Go-Ride” competitions take place in schools.

    There are extremely limited opportunities for informal competition within all cycling disciplines.



3.1 Developing the Plan SWOT Analysis

    The first step in developing the Plan was to look at cycling sports in Leeds through a „SWOT‟ analysis. This enabled the Cycling Sports

    Development Forum to recognise the current Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and to appreciate what is (or is not)

    taking place or being done for cycling sports effectively. The main issues identified for sports cycling in Leeds through this process are

    set out in Tables 1 to 4.

3.2 From SWOT Analysis to Actions

    3.2.1 The challenge for the Forum was to interpret the issues identified in the SWOT analysis and prioritise the key areas that needed

    challenging or changing in order to improve and develop the sport. In other words, „what do we want to achieve?‟

    3.2.2 The Plan has therefore set out a series of actions to address the key areas. In doing so, the Plan has attempted to build on the

    strengths and address weaknesses in cycling sports, act on any opportunities presenting themselves and recognise threats to the sport.

    However, there is not a corresponding action for each bullet point as some aspects of the SWOT analysis are not within the remit of the

    local forum and the community. For example, the SWOT analysis could recognise the threat and distraction of other leisure pursuits,

    such as computer games, but it could not address this with an action to ban games consoles.

    3.2.3 The Plan therefore looks at those areas of cycling sports that can be influenced and addressed. For example, a potential weakness is

    that there are a limited number of coaches available to work with disabled cyclists. The opportunity therefore is to mentor new coaches

    specifically to work with that group of participants.



    3.2.4 The key issues that can be influenced have been set out in Section 4. The action plan table outlines Work Areas and Actions to

    address issues or potential weakness for cycling sports in Leeds. Deadlines for actions are also set out.

    3.2.5 The actions will be monitored on a regular basis to see what has or has not been done. In addition, more detailed objectives will be set

    out in an annual Action Plan following the launch of the Development Plan.

Table 1: Cycling Sports SWOT Analysis Places

     Strengths Weaknesses

    ? Good network of designated cycle routes & bridleways ? Lack of publicity about designated cycle routes &

    bridleways, plus MTB & BMX tracks ? Good quality BMX track at Yeadon Tarn, used by local

    club ? No closed road circuit to develop competitive cycling in

    Leeds ? New National standard BMX track at Fearnville Leisure

    Centre ? No outdoor velodrome.

    ? Mountain biking jump/skills course at Temple Newsam ? Insufficient number of BMX tracks across the city

    Park ? No dedicated single-track Mountain Bike trails

    ? Good quality Indoor BMX track at The Works in Hunslet ? Some areas lacking in bridleway and cycle route

    ? Good bridleway circuit at Otley Chevin Forest Park provision

    suitable for mountain bike riding

     Opportunities Threats

    ? The identification of further sites for MTB & BMX tracks in ? The lack of investment in maintaining current sites.

    partnership with Parks & Countryside ? Potential closure of Roundhay Park Grass Cycling Track

    ? The identification of funding to improve grass track ? Lack of significant funding to invest in new cycling

    cycling circuit at Roundhay Park facilities

    ? Strategic support from B.C and the City Council for the ? Lack of suitable area/land in Leeds to build new facilities

    development of a closed road circuit in Leeds. ? Planning objections from local residents against new

    ? The building of a velodrome in Leeds at a cost of ?600k proposals


    Cycling Sports development plan 2008 - 2012

    ? Seek ways to create a traffic free environment for ? Objections from landowners and walkers to the creation

    competition cycling. of more bridleways and cycle routes. ? Encourage Building Schools for the Future projects to ? Irresponsible riding and unofficial jump course building by

    include cycling facilities in their plans. a small number of cyclists leading to negative attitudes

    towards mountain bike riders in general. ? The better use of existing Primary and Secondary school

     sites for cycling activities.

    ? Increase usage of the mountain bike tracks at Temple

    Newsam Park and Brigshaw High School

    ? Engage with young people and adults who are looking to

    self build BMX/MTB jump tracks in Woodland areas.

    ? The improvement of the BMX track at Yeadon Tarn

    ? Funding from BC through the Community Club

    Development Programme (CCDP)

    ? The creation of additional bridleways to improve the

    connectivity of the network

    Table 2: Cycling Sports SWOT Analysis Clubs and Schools

     Strengths Weaknesses ? Significant number of active clubs. ? Declining, ageing membership. ? Active volunteer force in larger, well organized clubs. ? Traditional methods. ? Active coaches in bigger clubs. ? Lack of coaching structure. ? “Go Ride” BC Scheme, available to clubs and schools ? Lack of sustained junior development. ? School Sports Partnerships network ? Clubs not attractive to children & young people ? SSP Funding ? Fragmentation within administrative groups. ? Outdoor Activities Group to promote cycling in schools ? Lack of clear local exit routes for young people to develop

    their skills. ? Road safety cycle training through Road Safety Cycle

    Trainers. ? The number of young people to whom a cycle is not



Cycling Sports development plan 2008 - 2012

     Opportunities Threats

    ? Broaden membership to engage and maintain younger ? Ageing membership at clubs.

    members. ? Lack of development opportunities.

    ? Promote club school links through the School Sports ? Lack of coaching infrastructure.

    Partnerships ? Lack of time for schools

    ? Create more sustained coaching opportunities. ? Priority given to other sports

    ? PESSCL Target of every child doing 2-3 hours of sport

    and physical activity beyond the school curriculum

    ? School travel plans.

Table 3: Cycling Sports SWOT Analysis People

     Strengths Weaknesses

    ? Experienced full-time and part-time Leeds City Council ? No Cycle Sport Development Officer for Leeds

    Highways Cycling Officers. ? Insufficient volunteers to sustain programmes.

    ? B.C. designated officers ? Insufficient qualified coaches.

    ? The small number of pro-active Volunteers who maintain ? Lack of training opportunities for coaches and

    the active cycling clubs in the city. administrators.

     ? Low number of participants from Black and Ethnic

     minorities, women and girls, disabled

     Opportunities Threats

    ? Improve standards of coaching through recognised ? Coach education is becoming very expensive.

    courses. ? Lack of throughput of coaches of a younger age range.

    ? Gain a significant number of qualified coaches available ? Lack of communication between various groups leading

    to deliver cycling courses to an uncoordinated approach to development.

    ? The improvement of communication within the sports

    cycling community.

    ? increase levels of participation from BME‟s and women

    and girls


Cycling Sports development plan 2008 - 2012

    ? Cycle Sports Development Group can ensure cycling

    opportunities are communicated citywide

    ? Community Investment Funding for a Cycle Sports

    Development Officer

Table 4: Cycling Sports SWOT Analysis Competition

     Strengths Weaknesses

    ? School Competition Managers in place ? City environment not conducive to racing on open roads.

    ? A programme of Yorkshire events accessible to Leeds ? Lack of “closed road” facilities prevent youth racing/talent

    riders. identification/development.

    ? Yorkshire Regional Competition administrator based in ? Roundhay Park track only useable once a week, also

    Leeds. needs further investment for improving drainage.

    ? Roundhay Park Grass Track league in summer. ? Leeds riders have to travel to Manchester for track

    competition and training. ? Leeds BMX club promote regional events.

    ? Cyclo-cross is reliant on school sites. ? A cyclo-cross league / events accessible to Leeds riders

    at Temple Newsam ? Cannot legally race MTB‟s on Public Bridleways

     ? Successful annual Otley town Centre Road Races

     Opportunities Threats

    ? The development of a new facility for competition at a ? Racing on the public highway becoming increasingly

    suitable location, close to motorway network. hazardous.

    ? The negotiation of access to parkland for events. ? Roundhay Park track in poor condition could lead to

    races being cancelled ? The improvement of the existing BMX facility at Yeadon

    Tarn. ? Denial of access to open spaces for mountain biking.

    ? The development of schools cyclo-cross. ? Attempts to upgrade BMX facilities thwarted by planning


    ? Poor venues for cyclo-cross.


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