Ward meeting to resolve Baysville cycle track impasse

Athol Trollip MPL

Leader in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

The ward councillor for Ward 18 in Buffalo City, Isabel Thompson, is calling a ward meeting on Tuesday next week at the Old Selbornians Club to hear and weigh public opinion on the Cycle Park track in the Baysville and Bunkershill-area.

I believe that this issue should be resolved in a manner which will satisfy all parties involved.  East London has been marketing itself as a sporting and adventure destination and as such, we have to ensure that we utilise our natural environment in a responsible and sustainable manner.  A good example is the successful Nahoon Parkrun, which takes place every Saturday in the Nahoon Nature Reserve, which is also a “green belt” area.

After being contacted by many irate cyclists, athletes, residents, sporting associations, the originators of this facility and reading the article on the Daily Dispatch “Cyclists furious over closure of trail” I contacted the DA ward councillor and suggested that she calls a public ward meeting in order to allow all the relevant neighbouring residents, role players,  stakeholders and the general public to voice their opinion about the existence of the cycle track and the current impasse.    This is precisely the role of a ward councillor and her response was enthusiastic.  She has made all the necessary arrangements and has invited the relevant BCM officials to attend the meeting.

It does appear that the originators of this facility might have been remiss in applying for and acquiring the necessary permission and permits before establishment, and this needs to be addressed.  The DA believes that all concerns in this regard can be amicably addressed if all concerned approach this mater in an open-minded and objective manner.

Having a cycle track in an open, public space and “green belt” area is not anathema as these facilities exist in most major metropolitan cities in the world.   The City of Cape Town is blessed with having Table Mountain, which is regarded as one of the Natural Wonders of the World, it is a heritage site and a nature reserve;  there are hundreds of kilometres of cycle track on and around the mountain and its abutting forests.  Cyclists get to enjoy and treasure the magnificence of this natural wonder every day and night without compromising the environment.  Why should the Baysville- facility be any different if it complies with all relevant legislation and regulations?

This meeting is a golden opportunity for East London residents in Ward 18 to decide what they want.

All interested persons are invited to attend the meeting.

Date:  Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Time:  18:30

Venue:  Old Selbornian Club