A BMX Pump Track in West Swindon will soon be a reality as the groundwork begins.

Councillors have campaigned for years to get the facility for bikers added to Rivermead, Westlea, and an announcement from West Swindon Parish Council confirmed contractors were starting work this week. 

The council first approached residents for their thoughts about the project in 2019 and since then several parishes and Swindon Borough councillors have campaigned and fundraiser to see it come to fruition. 

This Is Wiltshire:

In October 2020, councillor Suresh Gattapur, Timothy Makofu and several others completed a 26.1 mile walk around Swindon raising almost £5,000 to go towards the track, thought to cost around £70,000 - £90,000.

Nigel Gibbons, chair of the West Swindon Parish Council, said: "After so many years in the planning, I am absolutely delighted that our contractors have now started on site to commence the pump track project at Rivermead.

"The pump track extension will complement the existing skate park and has been designed for all wheels, including wheelchair users.

"This is a tribute to the hard work and determination of our councillors, notably councillors Suresh Gattapur and Tim Makofu, amongst others. Both have consistently campaigned and fundraised for this new track development, completion of which is now eagerly awaited by the skating and local community".

This Is Wiltshire: Suresh Gattapur at the end of his marathon walk for the BMX trackSuresh Gattapur at the end of his marathon walk for the BMX track

On the GoFundMe page for the marathon walk, Mr Gattapur explained why the new track was a much-needed addition to the area, especially for young people. 

"In a world of virtual gaming platforms bike parks are fun, challenging, and healthy places for young people to get their exercise in," he said.

"As bike parks are built, and maintained, riders tend to frequent the parks more regularly.

"Compared to more traditional parks and playgrounds, bike parks offer an incredible value vs the budget spent on them

Timothy Makofu added: "Memories come flooding back how on one normal work day, I met this young man who was going to Wroughton for a BMX track there, just because there is none in West Swindon. I promised him that I will share the idea of having one in West Swindon.

"True to my words, I floated the idea in one of our parish meetings. All thanks to most of the councillors it was an idea which was well received. And after a long journey here we are breaking ground today."

A Facebook page has now been set up to keep residents informed about the progress of the eagerly awaited project which can be found here - West Wheels Track.