Skateboarders in Lincoln are calling for the council to “step up” and provide a dedicated area for skating in the city. The University of Lincoln Skate Society currently uses the tunnel under Brayford Bridge near Cygnet Wharf, with the nearest skate park four miles away in North Hykeham.
Members of the society have spoken out to say that better facilities should be available beyond the constraints of the campus. They said that building a dedicated skate area would also stop people getting “agitated” about skating in the streets.
Former President of University of Lincoln Skate Society, Joe Jennings, 22, said: “There are quite a lot of people in Lincoln that do skate. We usually just skate on campus, but because it’s so flat we mainly just do what we call ‘flat-ground skating’.”
Themis Bacon, 24, said: “I would say the skate community is quite creative in the way they use architecture and everyday things as equipment. Some people get agitated that we skate in the streets, in that case, build us somewhere we can skate.”
Miller Skimin, 20, said: “Lincoln is seriously lacking skateboarding facilities. Right now, we’re pretty much limited to the university campus, but even there, we have to be super careful of the environment and other people.
“Our go-to spot is the tunnel under Brayford Bridge, but it’s not ideal. With a skatepark, we could skate freely without any issues or worries about being moved or hurting somebody passing by.”
They added: “Plus, it would bring the skateboarding community together and help others get into the sport. I’m hoping Lincoln steps up to provide the skate facilities we desperately need.”
Mr Jennings said: “There are plenty of spots around Lincoln where something could be built. It’s not like the skate community is turning around and saying they want this huge state-of-the-art skate park, but a dedicated area with some concrete ramps and a couple of bits and bobs would be nice.
“It wouldn’t cost millions and millions of pounds. If the council were to turn around and build such a space, I guarantee you, they would have so many people volunteering their services to help build it.”
The space under Pelham Bridge has been suggested as a potential spot for a dedicated skating area. Plans to construct a skate park at Hobblers Hole in the West End in 2014 were withdrawn after residents’ concerns over noise disturbances and wildlife impact.
A noise study undertaken by the City of Lincoln Council found that a 1.8-metre-high wall would be needed to mitigate noise levels. The application was however retracted due to concerns over the aesthetic impact.
Councillor Neil Murray (Labour) suggested that any skate park in Lincoln should be situated in a more populated area, with more accessibility and safer usage for residents. He positively said a potential skate park under Pelham Bridge would be a “different kettle of fish” compared to previous plans at Hobblers Hole.
Park ward Councillor Chris Burke (Labour) said: “Skateboarding is quite popular so I think we should be looking at potential sites and locations.”
He also pointed out the importance of engaging with local organisations, such as Maze Matters, to ensure the final decision reflects the needs of the local community. He said: “Let’s have a look at it. I think it really is a discussion where councillors and officers can come together and take ideas from young people.”