• Lady Whistleblower of Entry Hill

Money, money, money....

Money, money, money

Always sunny

In the rich man's world

Da-da-da-da-dee-da….there I go, singing again. This time a bit of ABBA, celebrating their reunion, while thinking about the Bath Bike Park. I have read through all of the information I can find about the project, including the consultation website, but nowhere can I find any mention of the likely cost of riding the bike trails. So, I thought I would try to work this out for myself.

I started by inventing an ‘average’ family of two adults and two children – I've called them the Wheelers. From information on the Entry Hill Community Association website, it seems that the cost of a family ticket to enter the bike park will likely be in the region of £25. But what if the Wheelers don’t have their own bikes – or not the right sort of bikes? Don’t worry dear Wheelers - Pedal Progression (the preferred bidders to operate the Bike Park), plan to offer bike hire. They currently run a bike hire and coaching business in Bristol, so I checked the cost of hiring bikes there, for a two-hour visit for our average family of four. This would be £56. And after two hours cycling up and down those tracks, the Wheelers will surely want to visit the café for drinks and snacks. So, admission, bike hire and a visit to the café will quickly add up to £100 for a family outing to Bath Bike Park. Not sure how often the Wheelers will be doing that.

It will be cheaper of course if the Wheelers have their own bikes. But Pedal Progression are very keen that you should not drive with your bikes to the site and will not be providing any additional car parking. And you can’t take your bikes on the bus. So, to get their own bikes to the site, the Wheelers will have to cycle them there. Let’s just hope they have some energy left for riding the trails, jumping the jumps and pumping the pumps.

A less generous person might wonder if Pedal Progression are keen to dissuade people from driving to the site with their bikes because it is much better for their business if people walk, or arrive by bus and hire bikes when they get there. That will help to ensure that the business makes enough money to pay the charge that BANES will levy on the capital they need to provide to build the bike park.

Did I mention that the site is up quite a long hill from Bath City Centre? BANES council officers pointed out how the use of electric bikes is increasing. So if the Wheelers have managed to save up the necessary £3,000-odd, they can all zoom up those hills on their electric bikes with no trouble. (Friends who know about this stuff tell me that the cost of the ‘right’ kind of bikes to ride the trails would be similar, so the Wheelers will certainly have to be very committed to cycling.)

What’s that clinking, clanking sound I can hear? Oh yes – it’s money – it makes the world go around they say. Well, I say, start saving dear Bath residents – you will need to if you are planning family outings to the Bath Bike Park next year.

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