Repair work looks set to start on closed Stevenage skate park Bowes Lyon following 2,000-strong petition
- Credit: Archant
Work to repair a Stevenage skate park which was closed in October due to safety fears looks set to begin shortly, following rumours that the structure was going to be demolished as part of plans to regenerate the town centre.
Herts County Council shut the Bowes Lyon skate park in St George’s Way after an independent inspection raised concerns about the deterioration of some surfaces at the 1970s park, which is one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
Rumours have since been circulating that the closure was part of a ploy to redevelop the land after concept drawings of a regenerated town centre didn’t include the park.
Sean Breckenridge from Stevenage launched a petition in August last year which said: “Harrow and Romford skate parks were built at around the same time, if not later, and they have been granted heritage protection on the site.
“Bowes needs to be protected as it is a huge part of UK extreme sports history and cannot be turned into a car park. Sign this petition to put your name against this amazing place from being knocked down in the potential new Stevenage town centre refurbishments – the aim is to get the establishment listed status.”
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The petition – which followed a similar one launched by BMX rider Jonathan Harris in 2013 – gained nearly 2,000 signatures calling for it to be saved.
This week a spokesman for County Hall told the Comet: “Hertfordshire County Council is currently considering quotes from a number of companies with regard to the necessary repair work and is in consultation with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in order to make the skate park safe to use again.
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“We hope to be able to award the contract very soon so work can commence.
“We apologise for the inconvenience and would encourage skaters to use the skate park in Hampson Park.”
The £125,000 skate park in Hampson Park opened in August, but users have been complaining it is too small.
Bowes Lyon skate park supporter Charlotte Camfield-Walker, from Arlesey, said: “Generations of young people have gathered at the Bowes Lyon skate park socially to express themselves energetically and physically.
“In an age where teens use technology and social media intuitively, this space offers a traditional alternative of getting out and being social. It must be saved.”