CHAMPS and amateurs raced round a new track at its grand opening.

The Totton BMX track was given the thumbs up by keen bikers of all ages.

The £43,000 Bartley Park facility was paid for by developers contributions to Totton and Eling council - and is the first phase of improvements to the Ashurst Road Bridge site.

The brainchild of Steve Willcocks - lead coach at Knightwood BMX Club in Chandler’s Ford - the track has been two and a half years in the planning.

With design input from locals and enthusiasts, the ‘s’ shape track is suitable for all levels and ages.

Steve said: “It started as an idea then it turned into a bigger and better idea.

“I used to come down here and see broken down track - it wasn’t used and was all overgrown It’s now really quite an excellent track for bikes and skate boarders.

“It’s for pros down to young kids of two and three years old. Everyone can have fun down here. Parents can come down as well. The council were fully behind the project right from the start.”

His son Luke, eight, a finalist in the world cup championships, described the track as “brilliant” and added: “I love it. It’s the best in England! It’s got very big jumps and they’re a bit wide and there are berm jumps that go round a corner.

Councillor David Harrison said: “It’s going to be locked at night. This is a project which has taken a number of years to come to fruition.

“I’m absolutely delighted to see it finished and so many young people enjoying it. It’s a great example of what can be achieved through good use of public money.”

Town clerk Derek Biggs said: “We are very pleased.”

Phase two of the improvements will be to add lighting to the site, while the plan for phase three is to build a cafe and bike repair hub in the centre.

Bartley Park is also home to one of the south of England’s largest skateboard parks, which includes a range of quarter pipes, a driveway/pyramid/rail, a four foot launch box with grind block, various launch ramps, a six foot mini, a ten foot vert, a girder rail and a new 15ft coping rail.