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Row over ban on BMX 'stunt pegs' at skatepark

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: August 18, 2013

By Scott Hamilton

Wherrytown Skatepark. Members of KERBS Skateboard Association drop in. PZPM20130710G-003_C.JPG

Wherrytown Skatepark. Members of KERBS Skateboard Association drop in. PZPM20130710G-003_C.JPG

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A ROW has broken out over use of Penzance's new state-of-the-art skatepark after BMX riders were asked not to use it with so called 'stunt pegs' that skaterboarder say are damaging the new facility.

The short metal or plastic pipes on the wheel hubs help BMX riders create stunts and moves and are standard on most bikes.

But BMXers have been told they can't use them at the plaza style facility – which recently opened after a mammoth £141,000 fundraising effort – because they damage the concrete.

Pro BMX rider Dave Pepperell from Penzance, who has used parks around the world, says bans on stunt pegs are rare.

But the Kerbs Skateboard Association say costly damage has already been done by pegs despite signs asking users not to use them.

And they say the vast majority of BMXers have happily complied with the rule and removed their pegs.

Cycle experts say the pegs take no more than five minutes to remove.

But Mr Pepperell says they are an integral part of BMX riding.

He said: "Kerbs say pegs damage the park. I've got plastic pegs, some people do have metal ones, but it's the same with skateboards and scooters – they've all got metal parts which could potentially damage concrete.

"The park at the Princess May [recreation ground] has been ridden by BMXs with pegs for years and it's still fine, still skateable, still fine for everyone to use.

"Most people don't seem to have a problem with pegs. I helped build the Hayle Bowl and that is fine as well, despite people using pegs. It's skateable and rideable.

"On the Facebook page it's still saying they are building it for everyone – "we want everyone to use it" – they are talking about all the disciplines, skateboard, BMX and scooters.

"It's such a lot of money to spend on a park which now seems mainly for skateboarders."

The Wherrytown skatepark has been a huge boost to Penzance, giving young people from across the area – and holidaymakers – a place to replicate ride, meet and develop their skills.

Cash for the build came from a £73,700 grant from the Cornwall Seaside Towns Programme, £50,000 from Sport England, £13,500 from Penzance Town Council and £4,000 from the community funds of local Cornwall councillors.

A joint statement from Kerbs said: "The decision to not allow BMXs fitted with stunt pegs to ride Wherrytown Plaza was a joint decision made by the trustees of KERBS Skateboard association and Penzance town council.

"Wherrytown Plaza is finished with a wonderfully smooth concrete surface and the constant impact of BMX stunt pegs on this surface leads to chips and gouges, that accumulated over time lead to an unsafe riding surface prone to weathering, shortening the the lifespan of the park for everyone.

"Our aim is not to exclude any members of the public from using the Plaza, our aim is to keep the park in as good a condition as possible for as long as possible.

"BMX riders are welcome to use the park without pegs fitted. The vast majority have respected the rule as it stands and have been nothing but positive about the facility we have provided.

"The few that have not respected the rule have already proven its necessity. Damage caused by BMX stunt pegs is already visible at Wherrytown plaza and will not be able to be repaired until KERBS Skateboard association have raised more money to have these repairs carried out."

"Wherrytown Plaza was built for every member of the public to use, all we are asking is that users help us keep it in great condition as a world class facility for as long as possible."

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