Northern Roots Bike Hub and Trails

Plans for a new Bike Hub and Trails facility at Northern Roots have been submitted. The proposed Hub will provide a training ground for cyclists to develop and improve their riding, and a starting point from which to enjoy the mountain bike trails extending across the 160-acre Northern Roots site and beyond.

The facilities include a pump track and a skills area, a bike hire station with a shop and cafe, a bike repair workshop, and toilets, shower and bike wash. Riders will be able to get spares and servicing for their bike within easy reach of the trails, as well as being able to get a coffee and warm food, wash their bike and get changed indoors.

These facilities will be complemented by an events and engagement programme in partnership with a range of organisations, and include activities like learn to ride and improvers’ sessions, competitive cycling events, and Club and holiday club activities. Over time, existing mountain bike trails on the Northern Roots site will be restored, and new graded mountain bike trails will fan out across the site, through its woodland areas.

“We’re delighted to be leading on the design and construction of a first-class facility for Oldham. Having been involved in initial consultation with local riders and mountain-bikers, we’ll be able to create something special for the community.” Steve Taylor, Director, Bike Track

The Bike Hub proposal has been developed following community consultation. The facility has been designed by leading UK company Bike Track, in conjunction with JDDK Architects. Bike Track have an impressive record in building adventurous and challenging facilities, including Leeds Urban Bike Park.

Your ideas and feedback

In December 2020 Northern Roots ran an in-depth community consultation, asking you what you would like from a Bike Hub and Trails facility. From safe family cycling spaces, bike repair lessons and kids Enduro racing, to magically lit night routes and watching top professionals compete, you were not short of ideas!

Please, please do something for older folk! I’m 56 and I’d love to learn to ride a bike and be safe enough to use it as my main mode of transport “

I’d like somewhere in Oldham that had specific off-road trails with some distance, but also the opportunity to try technical stuff, low to high in difficulty.

Women only, culturally-sensitive sessions to learn how to ride a bike. As a South Asian woman, I would like to learn with a group of a women in a quiet place away from public and community view.

Be great to have single rider sessions. For people like me that don’t have any riding buddies and would like to meet others.

Create supporting features and activities that encourage young riders to explore further and so get more out of using the site i.e. trailside sculptures, nature quizzes, bike powered musical sculptures.

Space and sessions for people of all abilities. Disability cycling adaptations advice.

Family trails with picnic areas. Somewhere safe to leave your bike to go and look at what else is on offer. Somewhere to charge electric bikes.

Consider coloured lighting of plants and trees, like ‘light up the forest’ or the enchanted forest, along some routes – this will promote cycling during darker months too and maintain interest all year round.

I don’t own a bike so would look at renting.

I’m mainly interested in long-distance road cycling, but I used to ride cyclo-cross, and wouldn’t mind having another go at that, if there was a Dads’ race!

Where is the proposed Bike Hub and Trails facility located?

The Bike Hub proposal is located on the Northern Roots site adjacent to Cherry Avenue in Alt. Additional parking facilities will be created next to the existing games court. Visitors will be encouraged to access the facility on foot, by bike, and existing transport links. If planning permission is approved, construction will take place in summer 2022.

Full design plans can be viewed via this link, where you can also share support or raise concerns.

Oldham-Ashton Beelines Bridge

Further developments are also underway to improve access for cyclists to the Northern Roots site.  Oldham Council have secured funding through the GM Mayor’s Bee Network programme to design a new bridge for cyclists and pedestrians, crossing the Medlock valley adjacent to Park Bridge Heritage Centre. From an initial five designs a preferred option has now been chosen – a steel girder bridge that will weather in time for an industrial look that is fitting with the area.

Further funding will be needed to build the bridge, but once complete, it will provide a spectacular new southern access point to the Northern Roots site, providing connectivity into Oldham and out into Greater Manchester.

Follow Northern Roots on TwitterInstagram and Facebook and if you’re out and about on your bike on the Northern Roots site, share your photos and tag us in.

In March 2020, Northern Roots held a consultation event for local cyclists and mountain bikers to find out what they would want from a purpose-built facility.
CGI of proposed Bike Hub & Trails facility at Northern Roots.
CGI of proposed Bike Hub & Trails facility at Northern Roots.
CGI of proposed Beelines bridge, which will connect Oldham to Ashton via the southern end of the Northern Roots site.