Lee Valley Velodrome - Is it fulfilling its legacy promises?

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  • I've become a regular attendee of LVV in recent months and am really struggling to reconcile this as an inclusive community facility in the same way that Herne Hill is.

    It's so incredibly expensive to attend track events with any amount of regularity that the only people coming are those that can afford it. There are so few youths or juniors there it's embarrassing.

    In a typical week - Senior/Youth

    Bike Storage - £7/7 LVV : £1/1 HH
    Training Session - £20/16 LVV : £7/3 HH
    Track League - £22/22 LVV : £10/5 HH
    Training Session - £20/16 LVV : £7/3 HH
    Total - £70/62 LVV : £25/12 HH

    What kind of parent has £62 a week to spend on their kids track racing?

  • Our club has found it near impossible to get bookings for LVV or the outdoor track. There seems to be one guy who runs the whole booking system and seems to be a total idiot/rude bastard.
    We mostly go to HHV now instead.
    The management of the Full Gas winter/summer series is a shambles too.

    Such a shame.

  • If this was built with private money then so what but it wasn't, we [the tax payer] paid for this.

    I'd be super interested in learning the opinion of anyone that has an internal view.

  • and also the justification for not having some kind of regular user discount?

  • Someone needs to get rich somehow

  • Sadly, I agree with all of this.

    I would love to go to LVV far more, but I cant make it stack up financially and still enjoy my hobby. I know that other club mates feel the same way too.

    As a club (BCC) we have missed out on club track bookings in the winter too for the past two years, which is a real shame as when we did have them regularly, it was really bringing riders on in terms of riding indoors. It also means that we have pretty much zero attendance at winter track league at the moment.

    I feel very lucky that we have HHV on our doorstep.

  • I live pretty much next to LVV and had to stop going because it was costing too much to ride as regularly as I wanted to keep my skills/confidence up. I get they have a large building to run and people prioritise their spending but it's not accessible as a side interest in the same way that the other parts of the park are.

  • Wow, that's incredible pricing and would put it out of my reach. Would be interesting to compare to the other indoor velodromes at Manchester/Newport/Derby for similar 2x training sessions + track league.

    I was paying £16 a week for 2x training sessions and track league at my local outdoor velodrome (Aldersley, Wolverhampton) a few years back

  • IMO they keep the prices high even when there is a lack of attendance to keep the "value" high. I.e. it's an exclusive place - you can only ride here if you can afford it. They probably make the same profit from few sales at high price than many at low price so I don't think they care much about making it accessible.

  • Has anyone seen figures on attendance/use of the facility or revenue/loss figures? i haven't been in more than a year largely because i think the cost is crazy but when i was going the sessions were pretty full. At least those at time when working people could actually attend. i would imagine it's a graveyard during the weekdays

  • It's really hard to find a session at weekends so there's clearly still a lot of demand - at least outside of week days

  • The reason there are no sessions at the weekend is because the corporates take them.

    I've been going on Monday nights (full), Wed League (tumbleweed) and Saturday afternoon (full)

  • The whole thing is geared towards those that can afford it. For instance you can book Monday sessions months in advance which means that if you can let go of a few hundred quid then you're guaranteed to always have a spot.

  • So I guess they are charging what the market will bear for the popular times. Logic would say they should cut prices to bring people in off peak but as far as i can tell they aren't. (I recognize this doesn't address senior bear's original question).

  • It certainly sounds expensive, and not in the spirit of the legacy that Boris bequeathed us.

    That said, the costs of running a massive building (with costs for operating staff, management, power, various facilities, cleaning, etc.) must surely and inevitably dwarf those of an open-air velodrome with almost none of those services/costs.

    From that perspective, the fact that using LVV as a Senior costs 3 times as much as HH does not seem quite so difficult to comprehend. The Senior/Junior split is interesting, and presumably LVV made a decision that in order to keep Senior costs tolerable, they would not structure the pricing so that they provide a level of subsidy for Juniors.

  • My club hires the road circuit. They are not great at community or user involvement but I don't believe that's in their brief. They could do more.

    As I understand it the velo park and the velodrome don't and are unlikely to ever cover their running costs - hence the prices
    But they could be nicer...

  • I paid £12 a session to do my accreditation at Newport. I'm not sure how much their club/weekly sessions are though. I have a feeling that they wouldn't be too steep as you won't get people going down in Newport if it's too expensive. There is an outdoor track in Cardiff (Maindy) too, so a similar situation to LHH/LVV.

  • One of the guys told me it's £0.5m per annum just to turn the lights on at LVV so I guess they'd need to be bringing in a fair amount more to make repayments against the build cost.

    On Monday night the roof was leaking so there was a member of staff attending turn 2 from above the barrier with a 12ft mop.

  • ^that can't be cheap.

  • The 'Save LVV campaign'. Coming to an internet forum near you soon.

  • A 12-foot mop must surely be a bespoke product.

  • I think it's for window cleaning normally.

  • Yep, it is too expensive and that's the reason I stopped going.
    And at the other extreme there is a national standard BMX track in Burgess Park that's got hours of access time when it's free to use, with free bike and helmet hire.

  • I'd be interested to know how it compares to Manchester, in terms of costs as a visitor as well as support/funding from BC.

    I'm not sure LVV would ever really re-coup costs of day-to-day running for a facility that big, but I also wonder if BC are subsidising things in Manchester because that is where their team is focused and so it provides best value for money.

  • I suppose it's one of those things around a venue designed for the Olympics that's then used mainly for amateur racing/training with the odd professional event every now and again. I would of thought the Olympic committee should have planned for this though ?

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Lee Valley Velodrome - Is it fulfilling its legacy promises?

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