Pump Track Meeting 30th October 2013

DCWG issued an open invitation to interested parties to attend its October committee meeting to address questions and discuss concerns regarding the Pump Track which is located in the woodland adjoining Kellie Road. The meeting was held at 7.30pm on 30th October at Hallhill Leisure Centre and while there was a smaller than expected turnout – given the recent level of discussion on the matter in various arenas – a good cross section of local residents, woodland group members and biking enthusiasts accepted the invitation to attend in order to put their questions and air their views. The DCWG committee welcomed the opportunity to address these questions and clarify some quite serious misconceptions it had been made aware of regarding the commissioning of the Pump Track construction. Also, to be a catalyst for the coming together of people that are passionate about biking in order to forge a way forward.

The DCWG objective had been to provide a location and facilitate the creation of a pump track to be a resource for use by the community. Of course the group is disappointed that issues have arisen in this regard. One major issue being the maintenance of the track.

Whilst confirming that from the outset of the project Tree-ditions – the company who constructed the Pump Track – stipulated the requirement for regular maintenance, DCWG acknowledges that it under estimated just how rigorous this would need to be. The current poor condition of the pump track is due to a combination of the lack of a maintenance team and some improper use of the track since completion.

Regret was also expressed that the previous Chairperson of the Dunbar Cycling Group and her husband (also members of DCWG) both with solid and wide ranging experience in the biking sphere – who were the very passionate impetus behind the creation of a Dunbar pump track and the involvement of DCWG – relocated before the project could benefit from their input at the critical stage of design and construction proposal evaluation.

The choice of contractor to undertake the project was made based upon two primary elements – cost, and experience of a like project. The willingness to provide ongoing support and desire to involve local businesses also being factors that were considered in the decision making process.

Viridor Credits Environment Company, the organisation who provided 90% of the construction funds, do so with strong and understandable encouragement for DCWG to demonstrate responsible finance “prudence” in choice of construction proposal. While the proposals received from the three companies invited to submit a proposal for this project were quite similar in how they chose to present themselves as companies and outline their approach to the project, there was a substantial difference in ongoing commitment and cost. Tree-ditions being the lowest quotation received. In regards to presentation, DCWG reiterates that Tree-ditions in the person of David Crosbie, did not misrepresent involvement in previous projects in the proposal that was submitted for construction of the Pump Track.

A further requirement of the granting of funds by Viridor was that the remaining 10% of project cost would be met by DCWG. This was done with the assistance of a £500 contribution by Sustaining Dunbar with the balance drawn from an already stretched budget and coupled with the knowledge there are no grants for maintenance work of the woodland or woodland projects. Tree-ditions committed to community consultation, skills sharing with volunteers for the project and being involved in the on-going maintenance, a factor that the other two proposals received did not have.

As was discussed during the meeting, lessons have been learned and critically, now individuals and local cycle groups have come forward to volunteer their knowledge and expertise to address these issues. Thanks to this input a great sense of positivity was generated about the track and its potential for the future.

DCWG is committed to working closely with both the individuals and groups (including Dunbar Cycling Group) that have volunteered to help in shaping that future. DCWG particularly welcomes the formation of Dunbar Troll Bashers – a group with the dedicated aim of improving and maintaining the Pump Track and Tree-ditions commitment to supporting this group in this objective.

Dunbar Woodland Community Groups exists to manage Lochend Woods as a community resource, to maximise potential for educational and recreational use, to value and nurture wildlife (our complete mission statement and much more can be found on https://dunbarwoods.org/)
Dunbar Troll Bashers is a Facebook group created by Dan Waters as a place to arrange workdays to improve or maintain the pump track at Lochend Woods. To find out more about this group or how to participate, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1432358950320604/
Categorised as Events, News

By dunbarwoods

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