Loss of Cheddar BMX track a 'big blow' to the sport

Liam Phillips in the Men's BMX Cycling Semi Finals at London 2012
Image caption Liam Phillips had high hopes of finishing in a medal position in London

The father of an Olympic BMX finalist says the loss of one of the UK's best tracks at Cheddar, Somerset, is a "big blow" to the sport.

Pete Phillips said the new owners of the holiday park want to build on the site of the track which is hosting this year's British BMX Championships.

His son Liam, 23, crashed out of the men's cycling BMX final on 16 August finishing in eighth place.

Darwin Property said the site was "dated" and "needed upgrading".

'Difficult decision'

On British Cycling's website it describes the Broadway House Holiday Park as the "perfect setting for this prestigious event".

The national governing body for cycling said Cheddar's "excellent facilities and revamped track proved a hit" for the last championships held there in 2011.

Owners Darwin Property Investment Management said it understood some visitors were disappointed at the decision to close the track.

"Deciding to close the track was a difficult decision," a company spokeswoman said.

"Apart from a handful of events each year the track was underused and there were a number of health and safety concerns about keeping it open, due to injuries being sustained by holidaymakers who aren't experienced riders," she added.

Sedgemoor District Council gave the go-ahead in March, subject to conditions, for 68 lodges and 60 static caravans at the Broadway House Holiday Park on Axbridge Road.

'Top three sites'

Mr Phillips senior said both British and European championships had been regularly held at the track.

"Liam's been competing there ever since it was build some 10 years ago.

"It's the only facility of its type in the country and is used regularly by holidaymakers who come to Cheddar just to use it.

"It's up in the top three sites - the other two are in Manchester and Birmingham.

"If this closes, parents of any youngsters across the South West that aspire to being champions could have to travel more than 150 miles to compete," he added.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites