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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 December, 2003, 11:12 GMT
New speedway track proposed
Speedway race
Plymouth has not heard the roar of speedway bikes for 33 years
A new speedway track could be built in the South West early in the new year.

Plans are being drawn up to bring the sport back to Plymouth after a break of more than 30 years.

It would be a big boost for speedway in the region at a time when the only speedway team in Cornwall is under threat.

Former rider Mike Bowden is believed to be one of the key people behind the proposals to put a track on farmland just off the A38 at Plympton, on the outskirts of Plymouth.

'Advanced stage'

It is possible to run up to 14 meetings without planning permission and it is understood that this is the proposal being considered in Plymouth, with a view to a team racing in the 2004 Conference League.

Talks are said to be at an advanced stage and approaches have already been made to the British Speedway Promoters' Association.

Plymouth-based Mr Bowden, who previously rode for several clubs, including St Austell Gulls and the Isle of Wight, could not be contacted about the plans.

Speedway was first staged in Plymouth at Pennycross in 1931, and it operated on and off until 1970, when there were several open meetings.

In recent seasons supporters have been forced to travel to Nanpean in Cornwall or the County Ground in Exeter if they wanted to watch their sport.

But with the Nanpean track closing at the end of last month, and the owners of Trelawny Tigers - who rode at that venue - still waiting to see if they will be able to get permission to race at a new site near St Dennis in 2004, a track in Plymouth could prove very popular.


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