A ‘FEASIBILITY study’ which the official 2022 Commonwealth Games team say helped their decision to hold track cycling events in London instead of the West Midlands ‘is not in existence’, according to Birmingham Council.

Earlier this year, the official Birmingham 2022 team claimed that a feasibility study into building a new velodrome in the region found that it would not be ‘cost effective’.

However Birmingham Council has contradicted this statement.

They say that such a report ‘is not in existence’, claiming that the decision was instead reached via a consultation with British Cycling and Sport England.

No official record of how the decision was reached has yet been published.

Late last year it was confirmed that track cycling events would take place in London’s Lea Valley Velopark, with no viable existing alternative in the West Midlands.

The nearest outdoor cycle track, at Manor Abbey in Halesowen, is over 70 years old, and the option of building a new velodrome was also rejected by the organisers.

In correspondence from earlier this year, Birmingham 2022 stated that their decision was based on “a feasibility study to look at the potential for a new velodrome, located in Birmingham or in the wider West Midlands.

“Unfortunately the study concluded that whilst there was evident support within the cycling community for a new velodrome or a temporary installation, it would not be cost-effective to provide one,” they said.

A copy of the study was not publicly available, Birmingham 2022 added, “due to legal and commercial reasons.”

However this goes against statements made by Birmingham council following a Freedom of Information request for the study to be published.

In their response, the council claim that no specific feasibility study was conducted before arriving at their decision.

Instead, they say that “detailed consultations regarding feasibility took place with British Cycling and Sport England”.

Last year’s decision was met with protest by cycling fans in the region, who will have to travel around 130 miles to watch track cycling events from the games.

It sparked the creation of an online petition for a new velodrome to be built for the games, which has so far been signed by more than 5,000 people.

And Charlie Dickens, who created the petition after the decision was announced, feels that the option of building a new velodrome in time for the games was never really considered.

“To me it was great news, when we won the bid,” he said.

“It meant we were going to get some new facilities where we can go and watch some international sports that we otherwise wouldn’t have access to in the West Midlands.

“And one thing myself and my family love watching is track cycling.

“So when they did decide track cycling was going to be there I wanted to know what the plans were for the velodrome, because it says on the website that the only new facility would be the swimming pool.

“All these questions were getting asked, and they just weren’t giving me any answers. And it just seemed that track cycling at a new velodrome was just not on the agenda whatsoever.

“Then it came out that track cycling was going to be held in London. And for me, as a sports fan, and also someone who’s really happy that Birmingham is hosting these games, for that to happen is just a huge mistake and a massive missed opportunity.

“So I sat down with another couple of people who were interested in this and that’s where the petition came from.”

The campaign to build a new state-of-the-art velodrome has been backed by various high-profile figures, including 13 local MPs and Brian Cookson OBE, past President of the Union Cycliste Internationale.

Supporters, such as Halesowen Cycling Club's David Viner, highlight the fact that that the West Midlands does not possess a single banked cycle race track.

And Mr Viner thinks that, were a velodrome to be built in the West Midlands, it could have the same impact on UK cycling as the building of the Manchester velodrome did in 1994.

“Pre Manchester, track cycling in the UK was in a sad state with few world class riders,” he said.

“The few champion riders we produced were exceptional people, but they succeeded despite the system not because of it.

“The new indoor track provided the perfect base for top coaches to develop the talented riders we did not know we had. World champions, Commonwealth Games and Olympic gold medalists followed.

“Womens’ cycling blossomed as never before, likewise, Paralympian cycling. The future stars of track cycling were given the perfect hot-house to develop and thanks to the higher profile of the sport, this success was transferred onto the road with wins in the Tour de France.

“Manchester Velodrome is in constant use, 10 hours a day, seven days a week.

“And what the Manchester velodrome has done for cycling in the U.K., a new velodrome in Birmingham can do for cycling within the West Midlands.”

A Birmingham 2022 spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Birmingham has introduced Track Cycling and Para Track to the 2022 sport programme.

“When deciding on venues and locations for all sports, an evaluation is carried out, looking at existing local venues, followed by an examination of regional venues where suitable local options do not exist, and finally any facilities further afield where there are no local or regional options.

“The Track Cycling feasibility involved discussions between the various relevant parties.

“As part of its bid process Birmingham explored other regional velodrome options as well as new and temporary facilities, but the options were neither compliant (minimum spectator seating capacity) or economically viable. We hope that the existing velodromes in the UK, including Derby Arena, are able to play a role as training venues.”