VOTE: BMX riders want better facilities

BMX riders are launching a campaign for improved facilities at the Midhurst skate park in Carron Lane.

Dean Johnson, 20, from Midhurst, Chris Ralph, 22, also from Midhurst, Sam James, 17, from Cocking and Will Puttock also 17 from Lodsworth lobbied Midhurst town councillors at their finance and general purposes committee meeting last week asking for guidance and support for their project.

The four campaigners are all keen BMXers who travel as far afield as Peterborough looking for state-of-the-art facilities to practice new tricks.

Last year Chris, a landscape gardener won the annual Haslemere BMX competition and Dean, who works full time for Owens Cycles in Petersfield, was runner up.

“There are at least 20 BMXers and more skate boarders who use the Midhurst skate park all the time,” Dean told town councillors.

“Basically we want help to put together funding and a proposal to make our skate park better.

“We travel to Petersfield, which has just been upgraded, Selsey, Horsham and as far away as Peterborough to find good facilities and we think ours in Midhurst needs to be updated.”

And Will told the meeting the scheme would not just benefit the BMXers but also other younger users of the facilities.

“It’s not a massive place we have at the moment and at least 20 of us use it – many more on busy days in the summer,” he said.

“We get younger kids there too and if we had more room it would be safer for everyone.”

After the meeting Sam told the Observer: “We are all pretty devoted BMXers and we are just after better, more up to date, facilities locally so we can do bigger tricks.”

He said they were supported by many other skate boarders and BMXers in the Midhurst area.

“We have done a lot of research and we think concrete would be the best solution. It is also the quietest.”

He said the group had at first preferred wooden equipment, but realised this would be costly to maintain: “We realise it is going to cost a lot of money and we are prepared to fund raise to show our commitment. We have the support of a lot of people, younger skate boarders, BMXers and all our parents.”

The group has already discussed ways of helping to raise funds and, said Sam, they were considering a sponsored bike ride.

He said they would welcome support from other skate park users and ideas for how to start raising funds.

In the mean time the group are meeting town clerk Joan Hursthouse to discuss the project and town councillors have advised them to put a scheme together and present it to members of the town council’s Community Care Committee.

Anyone who is interested in the project can contact Sam on 01730 813758 or his mobile 07791 859 180 or Dean on 07925 001 498.