The styles may have changed since the heyday of the Langley Speedway

The styles may have changed since the heyday of the Langley Speedway

Metro to study reopening speedway in park

Proposal would bring car racing back to Campbell Valley

The dream of car racing fans to reopen the long-closed Langley Speedway in Campbell Valley Regional Park will at least get to the starting line.

Metro Vancouver’s environment and parks committee voted to refer the controversial proposal to staff to report back on feasibility and what process might be used if Metro’s board decides to advance it to public consultation.

The idea is expected to face heavy opposition from horse riders who frequent the park, as well as other users and residential neighbours.

Four Metro directors voted against the motion, citing concerns racing wouldn’t be compatible with quiet nature strolls and equestrian riding.

Surrey Coun. Barbara Steele said noise from the track would be a big issue, adding she’s also concerned the Langley Speedway Historical Society hasn’t adequately discussed its proposal with neighbours or other park users.

But the majority agreed Metro should not dismiss out of hand the idea of resurrecting the speedway, which has been closed since 1984.

“In this economy, we have to look at what the people want to do,” said Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman, adding track proponents have taken a respectful approach and not tried to “stack the deck” with support.

Responding to concerns it’s a heavily polluting sport, Banman said auto racing technology is changing and heading toward a future of electric race cars.

He also noted equestrian sports aren’t emission free, because horse riders typically burn fuel trucking their animals to and from Campbell Valley park.

“I think there are lots of ways to resolve the problems facing this,” Pitt Meadows Mayor Deb Walsh said.

Langley City Coun. Gayle Martin noted Metro wants to explore business partnerships to raise more money to support regional parks, particularly the acquisition of more parkland.

“In Stanley Park you have the aquarium, which houses whales in captivity. What’s that doing to the environment?” Martin asked. “You have the miniature train, you have Malkin Bowl and they’re all generating revenue.”

She said most trails in Campbell Valley go nowhere near the racetrack area, which occupies less than two per cent of the park’s 1,322 acres.

Speedway society president Murray Jones said he’s pleased Metro will at least consider the idea.

He said the the racing surface is still usable and a demonstration race could be held there almost immediately, using basic fencing and portable concessions, while more work would be needed to set up proper grandstands.

Jones said Metro got 10 per cent of all speedway revenues when it was open and a similar revenue-sharing agreement in the future could help fund regional parks.

He envisions 10 to 14 race days a year, while concerts, car shows and other outdoor events could use the venue at other times.

Jones said the existing 1,000 parking stalls at the track would be mainly for VIPs and the disabled, while most other race-goers would be expected to walk, bike or take a shuttle.

Metro directors predict there will be strong opinions for and against reopening the track, particularly from motor sport fans and horse owners, if the proposal makes it to public consultations.

“You’ve got horsepower on both sides of this issue,” Langley Township Coun. Bob Long said.

Just Posted

water
City begins community engagement for Mission Waterfront Revitalization Master Plan

Wants the community’s input to bring to life the vision outlined in the Official Community Plan

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

web
Father’s Day Parade planned for Mission

Classic vehicles from the 1920s to the 1970s will drive through Mission, Hatzic on June 20

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read