New $3m criterium track to be built for cyclists

FIVE years of campaigning for a new cycling facility has finally paid off for the owner of Yellow Jersey Bike Shop, Troy Dobinson.

In 2011 Troy's mother was killed while out cycling on the road.

Since that day he's been on a mission to improve safety for Ipswich residents, including starting the 24-7 Cycling Safety Fund.

The cornerstone of that initiative is the construction of a criterium track - a $3 million project - to replace the dilapidated velodrome at Limestone Park, demolished in 2010.

Although the council bought land at Briggs St a couple of years ago, it's been a struggle to secure government funding.

That didn't deter Troy who, with the help of his team at 24-7 Cycling Safety Fund, raised more than $100,000 for the track.

But on Friday the State Government announced it would stump up the $1.5 million, through the Get in the Game program, needed to start construction.

The council will match the government's funding and says work will start "as soon as possible" which means Troy is likely to be riding his bike on the track this time next year. 

"This isn't a criterium track for us," Troy said.

"This is for the community. For the people who want to learn to ride bikes, who want to get fitter and want a safe space to do that.

"It's a safe cycling facility for the people of Ipswich."

Troy hasn't been the only one knocking on doors.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard has been bugging the Sports Minister to fund the project since the day her government took office.

"I've made phone calls, sent letters, turned up at the minister's door a few times," Ms Howard said.

"I've taken every opportunity to make it clear this is a project worth funding."

Mayor Paul Pisasale says his council has always planned to invest $1.5 million, but needed a partner for the project to go ahead.

"At last, someone listened," Cr Pisasale said.

"A city like Ipswich needs this kind of infrastructure. This will be a very quick, easy process. Everything is ready to go. I would be out there today to start digging if I could."

Topics:  criterium cycling jennifer howard paul pisasale

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