Save Preston Park Velodrome campaigners to stage slow-ride protest

Posted On 19 Feb 2015 at 6:39 pm

Organisers of a campaign to save the Preston Park Velodrome are to stage a slow-ride around the track to raise awareness.

The ride, which is billed as the first of many, will take place on Saturday, 28 February at 11am.

The velodrome has been closed for racing since mid-January after British Cycling said it was too dangerous to use for competitive events.

Within hours, a campaign had been launched, and less than a month later, a petition urging Brighton and Hove City Council to make repairs has now got 3,164 signatures.

Preston Park velodromeCampaigner Kim Fortescue Talwar said: “It’s brilliant to see so much support for the Velodrome, and an raised awareness of the risk of losing competitive cycling at Preston Park’s historic track is important in ensuring that the council is aware of, and acts on, the concerns of the cycling community.

“Since the launch of the petition, the council and British Cycling have had further meetings to discuss the repairs and costs involved, and agree a way forward for the work required. I am, however, unable to give you any further details of these costs at this time.

“The local cycling community, including Preston Park Youth Cycling Club, continue to be proactive in ensuring that a future is secured for Preston Park Velodrome and all cyclists in Brighton and the South East.”

A spokesman for British Cycling said: “British Cycling recognises the value of the Preston Park facility to local users and we are working with Brighton and Hove City Council to find a solution as quickly as possible.

“The track was closed to competitive cycling after users of the track identified, in particular, the fencing but also other aspects of the track as in need of repair.

“Some repairs were carried out by Brighton and Hove City Council but concerns remain about certain parts of the track where it is thought that safety may be compromised in competitive events.

“British Cycling has met with representatives from the council to discuss the work. They acknowledge there are still some challenges which need to be addressed and they have agreed they will to look into what will be required to bring the track up to standard.

“In the meantime, British Cycling has commissioned a condition survey of our own which will include an assessment of the cost to repair the fencing and carry out the remedial work required.

“Like the hundreds of people in the area who value the facility, we look forward to competitive cycling returning to Preston Park in the near future.”

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    The council has to make cost savings as a result of the austerity measures. As such it is only really necessary for them to worry about core services (rubbish collection, mending roads, etc.).

    Sorry, but having a competitive cycle track is not, IMHO, a core requirement, but merely a ‘nice to have’.

    How about you cyclists getting together and funding the repairs yourself, rather than expecting it to come from the general council tax pool of all residents?

    How about a fund-raising event rather than wasting time having a ‘slow-ride’ as a protest?

    Or would you expect this be one of the vital jobs requiring we all pay 6% more council tax?

  2. feline1 Reply

    I tend to agree, Gerald,
    but I also bemoan the way the council has managed to let this asset fall into disrepair – surely it should be able to RAISE money? Hiring it out for use to cycling events?
    Instead these useless public sector loons who are meant to be looking after it are all still collecting their salaries but will tell us they can’t actually do any work cos there’s “no budget”…

  3. Pingback: Slow Ride Around Preston Park Cycle Track | Southdown Rise Residents Association

  4. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Also, to be pedantic, this is not really a velodrome, but just a combined cricket pitch and cycle track designed and built in the Victorian era.

    A real velodrome is ‘A cycle-racing track, typically with steeply banked curves’ and looking at Google Street View, this is almost totally flat.

    I remember cycling round there in the ’60s and ’70s with my mates and it doesn’t seem to have changed much – other than some trees planted round the edges.

    If they really do need to upgrade the track surface, possibly adding banking, and safety fences then I imagine the cost will be quite high.

    However, as a place to have a cycle around away from traffic, possibly to teach cyclists the ‘rules of the road’ I would have thought it was perfectly adequate.

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