A cycling park should be set up in Pak Shek as part of a plan to turn Sha Tin into a 'cycling city', district councillors proposed yesterday. Pak Shek, in Ma On Shan, used to house the Whitehead Vietnamese Detention Centre. The land has been turned into a golf driving range and a temporary site for cycle training. 'We want to develop Sha Tin into a cycling city, an important stop for bikers,' said Yeung Cheung-li, president of the traffic and transport committee of Sha Tin District Council. It is estimated that there are more than 150,000 bicycles in the district, with about 540,000 cyclists a year riding on cycling tracks near the university railway station. A research report by the district council and the geography and resource management department at Chinese University found that nearly 80 per cent of 3,164 Sha Tin residents and 244 bikers polled supported a cycling park at Pak Shek. More than half of those interviewed said they wanted the park to be family-friendly. About 11 hectares of land in Pak Shek was allocated for recreational use, according to the report. Biking beginners would be free to develop skills in their own time, while the Leisure and Cultural Services Department could consider organising courses for more advanced riders. A training venue for professional cyclists could also be built there, said Gary Yeung Man-yui, convenor of the council's traffic and transport study working group. 'Hong Kong's cycling team achieve good ranks and attain great results in international competitions, but they still need to practise on roads,' he said. Meanwhile, the number of traffic accidents involving bikes in Sha Tin has risen to an alarming level. 'Bike accidents made up one third of the district's traffic accidents,' Mr Yeung said at the meeting. There were 387 bike accidents in Sha Tin 2007, killing one person and injuring 402 - the worst figures of any district. District councillors also cast doubt on the design of subways at the meeting. Eleven people have been injured and required hospital treatment after crashing their bikes in a tunnel that opened in September. In order to avoid accidents, the Transport Department has put up a sign demanding that cyclists dismount and walk through the tunnel. But Thomas Pang Cheung-wai, vice-president of the district council, said the tunnel was designed so it could be used by cyclists. 'A cycling track is built for people to ride on it,' he said. 'Is it reasonable that you ask people to dismount and sue them if they don't?' The report also recommended the installation of speed bumps near subway entrances to deter cyclists from travelling too fast.