Portsmouth cycle track closed following death of police officer to finally re-open

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A PORTSMOUTH cycle track that closed following the 
death of an off-duty police officer is to finally re-open next week.

The velodrome at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth was shut after PC Richard Phillips-Schofield, 33, died following a crash on March 11 last year.

The track was closed by Parkwood Leisure, which runs the centre, after the accident.

But now it has been revamped and a thorough safety assessment has been held to help ensure a similar incident does not happen again.

As reported, Parkwood and British Cycling spent £80,000 on safety improvements and upgrading the track.

Metal rails have been put up around the outside so cyclists feel more safe while riding on the track.

Portsmouth Tory culture boss Linda Symes said the circuit will be re-opened to the public next Friday, following a final safety briefing the day before.

Cllr Symes said: ‘Parkwood has received its final risk assessment from British Cycling.

‘No-one should forget the tragic circumstances in 
which it was closed, but all the checks have been done now to make it as safe as possible.

‘British Cycling has deemed it good enough to be fit and open and it’s right this facility should be available.

‘It’s important we have this kind of facility there.

‘It will be used to keep people fit and healthy.’

Hundreds of cyclists had signed a petition calling for its re-opening so youngsters and keen bikers still had somewhere in the city to train and ride.