Hawkenbury Pump Track FAQ
What is a pump track?
A pump track is a continuous circuit of banked turns interspaced by rollers and other features that can used by skateboards, roller skates, scooters, balance bikes and bicycles. Riders generate forward motion by ‘pumping’ their bicycle or scooter with their arms and legs. The type of surface used will determine the types of wheels that can be used on it. The proposal opts for tarmacadam, as it allows multiple types of wheels, reduces noise and maintenance costs.
Does the HVA support the Pump Track proposal?
Yes, the HVA does support the proposal for a pump track to be added to the leisure facilities in the Recreation Ground.
Where is the proposed location for the Hawkenbury Pump Track?
The proposed location of the pump track is north of the all weather pitch, directly adjacent to the fence. Shown by the RED outline in the picture below. The GREEN circles represent the canopy of the nearby oak trees. Any design will take into account the root spread of these trees.
Will the pump track be an eyesore in the Recreation Ground?
We don’t believe the pump track will be an eyesore and any design will have to blend into its surrounding. The proposed pump track will consist of a grassed area with a tarmacadam strip nominally 1.5 m wide (up to 2.5m wide around corners that will wind its way around a loop within the designated area (RED outline above). The strip will be interspaced with rollers (bumps) and berms (corners) that the riders negotiate while ‘pumping’ round the track. The overall layout is flat with raised sections (rollers and berms). Pump tracks are much less obtrusive on the landscape than the concrete structures we equate with a skatepark.
What will happen to the young trees currently planted in the proposed pump track area?
The plan is for young trees to be moved to the perimeter of the pump track, to further enhance the screening effect of the existing trees.
Will any of the current paths across the Recreation Ground used by walkers be disturbed?
No, the plan is to utilise an area of the Recreation Ground that is currently not widely used by walkers or other users. The designated site is not used and is left fallow by the council.
Will the residents overlooking the Recreation Ground be able to see the pump track?
Some of the residents in Hawkenbury Close will overlook the pump track. The young trees currently growing within the RED outline will be re-planted on the western edges. Residents on Napier Road and Sherborne Close should not have direct line of sight, as there will be trees between them and the pump track. The pump track is a low construct, further limiting any potential sight lines.
Will the pump track be noisy?
The pump track surface is smooth tarmacadam, so the noise from the wheels will be minimal. It is anticipated that the pump track area will generate the same level of noise as the current children’s play area.
Will the pump track be used all year round?
The proposal to use a tarmacadam surface for the pump track. This means it can be used all year round and in all weather conditions (except snow and ice). This type of surface reduces noise and keeps maintenance costs down.
Will the pump track be used at night?
The pump track will be an accessible part of the Recreation Ground, similar to the children’s play area. It is feasible that individuals will use it at night. There are no plans to install flood lights.
Will the pump track be supervised?
No, the pump track will not be supervised. Pump tracks tend to self-regulate in the way they are used. Smaller children would be supervised by their parents in a similar way as the current play area.
Will the pump track be fenced?
Yes, the pump track will be fenced, in a similar style to the current children’s play area.
Will there be overtaking on the pump track?
No, there should be no overtaking. A pump track is designed for one person, to be at any one point of the track, at a time. Multiple users can be on the track but spaced apart sufficiently. Anyone trying to overtake will soon find out that they are spoiling their own fun.
What entrance will pump track users take to get to the pump track?
We cannot regulate which entrance people use to enter the Recreation Ground. Any out of area visitors are likely to use the Hawkenbury Road entrances, from the expanded car park. The surrounding streets will have permit parking, so non-residents are unlikely to park there.
What age group can use the pump track?
A pump track is suitable for all ages. From toddlers on balance bikes, older children on scooters, teenagers on roller blades to adults and children on bicycles. There is a plan for a small toddler track to get new, younger riders used to pump tracks. Pump tracks offer a great workout, get children out playing and teach users valuable riding skills.
When will the pump track be built?
Currently the pump track is only a proposal and the council have shown a keen interest in the idea. If the pump track gets the go ahead, it is unlikely it will be built until 2020. The funding for the pump track comes from the Hawkenbury Farm housing development and is conditional on a certain number of houses being sold to release the funds.
Do residents have a say in the pump being built?
The Hawkenbury Village Association is engaging with its members regarding the pump track and gathering their feedback. We have also held information days in the Recreation Ground to gauge support. The proposal would need careful consideration and design, before a full planning application is submitted. Part of the planning application will be a full consultation with local residents and everyone will be able to express their views.
What about drainage on the pump track?
Pump tracks are designed with drainage in mind, as pooling of water on the pump track, is indicative of a bad design. Drainage from the pump track will be part of the design requirement and will not result in flooding of other areas of the Recreation Ground.
Will the pump track have lighting?
No, there are no plans to install flood lights.
Where will users park their cars?
It is anticipated that the main users will be from the surrounding area and will ride their bikes or scooters to the pump track. Out of area visitors will be sign posted to the expanded parking area at the cricket pavilion. Soon to be introduced parking permits should deter parking in the surrounding streets.
Why has this location been chosen for the pump track?
This location is central to the Recreation Ground’s primary leisure facilities. It is relatively flat and accessible. The area is not currently used or maintained for any purpose.
What do the council think of the pump track idea?
When the pump track proposal was made to the council representatives, by the HVA, the feedback was very positive. The proposed pump track can be used by all age groups, it can be used all year round, it is low maintenance once constructed and encourages people of all ages to stay fit and healthy.
Will the pump track encourage anti-social behaviour?
It is hoped that having a pump track will have the opposite effect by creating a positive social impact. Currently the Recreation Ground does not offer any facilities aimed at teenagers. While the pump track is applicable for all ages, it is definitely something that can provide teenagers with something to focus on and help them acquire a new skill, whilst keeping them fit at the same time.
I am worried about my 5 year old using it when big kids and adults will be using it?
There will be a beginner’s track for younger rider to use to become familiar with the skills required for riding a pump track, before they progress to the main track. It is hoped that a user community would evolve when a pump track was installed in Hawkenbury, where more experienced riders would mentor and support younger riders.
Are pump tracks dangerous?
No more dangerous as any other outdoor facility provided in the Recreation Ground. The risks are minimised by building a sensible and safe track. Rounded edges, gentle embankments and considered design layouts avoid unnecessary falls. Whilst we cannot enforce the measures, it would be recommended that users take a common sense approach to using the facility. Helmets and padding would be recommended.
We trust this FAQ has answered some of your questions. If there are any we have not answered, please use the comment box below. If we have missed anything, please ask that below and we will add it.