Over the last two weeks we have not been able to swim in the Aquadrome’s 25m pool in the mornings as the lanes had been given to the Bluefins without any warning. I got on my high horse about this as I pay for membership to the Aquadrome and there is just no other time that I can sensibly swim there.
After a bit of fussing, I spoke to Serco who manage the pool, the Leisure Trust and the council. I know some people spoke to their MP’s and there was an article in the Gazette. I think I made myself unpopular by phoning the Chair of the Trust, at home, and saying I would like to become a Trustee if this is not resolved.
Anyway, something has happened now. We have had a bit of a victory in that we have got Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays back (but we have lost Mondays and Wednesdays). Also, the pool opens 30 mins earlier so there should be a bit more opportunity for swimming before work. Another change is that the Tadley pool opens earlier and the Basingstoke membership has been extended to cover Tadley.
Anyway, here is the e-mail that I received from the council explaining things…
I refer to my email dated 10 September regarding the pool programme at Basingstoke Aquadrome. I am now able to let you know that changes are to be made to the timetable which will allow early morning lane swimming in the 25m pool.
On three mornings per week – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays – the pool will be open from 5.30am (previously 6.00am). Three lanes will be allocated for public lane swimming on the Tuesday and Thursday and two lanes on Friday. The other lanes will be used by Bluefins training squads. The 20m pool will continue to have all 6 lanes available for public swimming, with provision for competitive / fitness swimmers made on Mondays and Wednesdays.
For those swimmers who are willing to travel to the 25m pool at Tadley, all 6 lanes will be available for the public from 6.00am (previously 6.30am).
There will also be public lane swimming in the early evening at the Aquadrome 25m pool where previously there was none; on Tuesdays and Thursdays two lanes will be available between 5.00pm-7.30pm.
As noted in my earlier email, these arrangements are due to start on 20 September and a review will be carried out by Christmas. Notices of the new programme will be displayed at the Aquadrome and website information will also be updated.
We believe the new programme achieves a reasonable compromise and hope the majority of swimmers will now be able to swim at a time convenient to their needs. We recognise the frustration that has been caused by the initial changes and officers from the council will be working with the Community Leisure Trust and Serco to ensure that if the pool programme is modified in the future (as indeed over the coming few years it may need to be) it is done with due consultation and consideration of the impact on everyone who may be affected.