A RUNNING track will soon be lit up in a £10,000 revamp - but athletes say there is still a long way to go before facilities are up to speed.
Vale Royal Borough Council is installing new floodlights to the circuit at Knights Grange Sports Complex in Winsford, as councillors agreed to free-up cash.
Members of the executive group approved the scheme last week, and the lights should be working by Christmas.
The need for lighting improvements was highlighted in a report to the borough council by former international runner Brian Hall, who slammed facilities at Knights Grange.
In his report Cllr Hall, who sits on Vale Royal borough and Winsford town councils, described the floodlighting as 'woefully inadequate'.
Cllr Hall, a coach at Vale Royal Athletics Club, said: 'The new floodlighting looks good and we are glad something is being done.
'But, even with the lighting, it's nowhere near enough.
'When you have got such a large club as Vale Royal Athletics Club, with 300 members, you have got lots of different disciplines, such as pole vault, shot putt, long jump, 400m, and they all need slightly different facilities, while the track at Knights Grange is only suitable for middle-distance runners.'
Athletes have long complained about the condition of the track. Work has been carried out to cover it to make it even, but the surface is soft, which makes it unsuitable for sprinters.
'We have got some hugely successful sprinters in our club, but they have to go to Crewe or Macclesfield to train,' said Cllr Hall. 'You can't have sprinters of the quality we have got running on that surface, they would finish up injured.
'A better surface was put down but, due to the bad weather, it has not been raked.'
Cllr Hall wants the council to spend about £1m on developing the facilities to allow the club to hold athletics meetings and utilise it for community and sporting events.
Cllr John Grimshaw, the lead councillor for leisure at Vale Royal, said: 'The track has, for many years, only been served by partial floodlighting, raising concerns from some club members over safety.
'The borough council's executive group allocated £10,000 toward this lighting scheme, which will see the whole track lit.'
Further information is available from Vale Royal Leisure Services on 01606 867783 or at www.valeroyal.gov.uk.