CONCERNS have been raised by the skateboarding community in Caldicot over the state of the town’s skatepark.

Skaters claim to have come close to injury while using the park due to the number of holes and cracks that have appeared in the concrete between ramp transitions.

Other parts of the park to have been “neglected” include the worn steel on the halfpipe and the grind rail, which had snapped and has yet to be replaced.

Park regular Matt Doddridge, who has used the park for 11 years, said that while the local authority had responded to regular reports of damage in recent years, they had used “inadequate” concrete or tarmac to fix the defects.

Monmouthshire council say the skate park is routinely inspected and any defects are dealt with on an ongoing basis.

Mr Doddridge said:“The council used to come down and fill the holes with cheap concrete and even after a little bit of use, the fillings would just pop straight back out.

“It’s not just the park, but the area around has also become overgrown and some of us are cleaning it up off our own backs.

“One of the pro skaters that uses the park, he’s around 13 or 14, I’ve seen him starting to pick the rubbish up himself.”

He added: “It’s sad to see, people used to come from all over to use the park but they’ve been put off by how bad it has got.”

Kieran Deakin, another member of the community, said that the park was in “dire need of a major repair”, adding: “Last time the skatepark was ‘fixed’ they used tarmac to cover up some holes which ended up coming out everywhere that same day and being a bigger hazard than the holes ever were.”

Caldicot has had a thriving skating, BMX, scooter and rollerblading scene since the park was opened in 2002.

Monmouthshire County Council had built the park following a large scale public consultation with its youth service and the young people in Caldicot, who had signed off on the final design.

But there is the fear that if the park continues to be “neglected” as some skaters believe it is, then it risks turning away potential newcomers to the sports.

Mr Doddridge added: “If the kids are turned away from skating here, then they’ll start doing it out on the street and that causes mayhem. Having this park keeps those people off the streets and getting in people’s way.”

Jason Chadney, 30, used the park when it first opened but said he has had to stop two of his children from going to the park over safety fears.

The father-of-three, who now lives in Rogiet, said: “It’s just too dangerous for youngsters now.”

“My friends and I growing up loved the park and spent so much time there and now my kids can to if it wasn’t so bad.”

A county council spokeswoman said: “The skate park is routinely inspected and any defects are dealt with on an ongoing basis.”