SKATERS are calling for the new £60,000 skate park in West Swin-don to be built at Rivermead, as a number of locations have gone to consultation.

More than 20 skaters met with members of the Shaw Residents’ Association on Wednesday night to discuss the options being put forward, which include Saltway Fields, Rivermead Drive, and Shaw Ridge.

And in the face of local opposition to the site at Saltway, skaters are throwing their support behind the site behind the Spectrum building.

Matthew Brever, 29, assistant at the ATB Skate Warehouse, was at the meeting.

“It was very productive, and was good to get points across that had not been made before,” he said.

“The main point that keeps going around is the location of the new park. There were a lot of objections to the first site, and now Rivermead keeps coming up as the best option. “It is still within the local area, but is more tucked out of the way.

“If the park goes there we are not going to have problems with residents complaining about the noise. Not only that, but there will be room for expansion there.”

Matthew added many would have preferred the Saltway site, but it would be untenable without residents being on their side.

“The Saltway site would be hard to go ahead with because there is a lot of opposition from the residents, but it would have been brilliant,” he said. “It has taken what would have been a great location and made it very difficult. “It would be nice if we could push and get Saltway, but the other location is also very good.

“A good skate park is something West Swindon has never had. I have lived here for most of my life, and it is the one thing it has been lacking. At the moment you have to travel to town or outside Swindon, and a lot of kids can’t do that. The kids in the west need something like this, and it is a great project.”

Arthur Beltrami, 76, of Spencer Close, has been campaigning against the Saltway Fields site.

“I do think Rivermead would be the most sensible place,” he said. “When you look at the plans, the reason they like it is because it is so close to all the other facilities.

“It is only a short walk away from the Link Centre, with all the facilities there. “Because there is a long path running next to it, which is used a lot by people walking through to West Swindon, people will be able to keep an eye on it very well.

“There is also very good access to the site. Skateboarding is a moderately dangerous sport, and if somebody was to go down with an injury the emergency services will be able to get access, which just isn’t possible on the Saltway site. It only takes that happening once for somebody to get the blame.”

The consultation began on November 12 and will run until December 15.

A drop-in session will be held on November 30 at the Link Library from 11am to 2pm, and the outcome will be reported back to residents on January 13.