The Preston Park Velodrome needs £300,000 of repairs to its perimeter fence, a survey commissioned by British Cycling has found.
Since then, a petition calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to bring it up to scratch has been signed by more than 3,000 people and campaigners are staging the first in a series of go slow rides at the track tomorrow.
British Cycling is now in talks with the council about how the repairs could be funded. It says it would only give money on the condition it was matched by the council, which is exploring the use of developers’ contributions or parking proceeds, both of which can be used to fund transport improvements.
A spokesman for British Cycling said: “British Cycling has commissioned a company called Abacus to undertake a condition survey of the track in order to fully outline the work required. Abacus visited the site in early February and the findings of this were presented to us last week.
“The main recommendation of the report is that the perimeter fence needs to be completely replaced with a new fence that meets modern safety standards. The remainder of the report is still being worked through between ourselves and representatives from Brighton and Hove Council.
“British Cycling’s facility funding is provided by Sport England, and has been allocated for the development of 33 new traffic-free cycle sport facilities, as opposed to the maintenance of existing sites.
“However, this does not mean we would not be prepared to consider a maintenance project, particularly for a very well used existing facility such as this.
“We will continue to work with Brighton and Hove Council to find a solution for Preston Park track and, like the hundreds of people in the area who value the track, we look forward to competitive cycling returning to the site soon.”
A council spokesman said: “We are working closely with British Cycling with a view to improving the condition of the velodrome.
“Following their evaluation of the site they have told us it needs around £300k spending on it to bring it up to a standard suitable for competitive cycling.
“We are now working with them to explore potential sources of funding. For us this has to be seen in the context of the council losing around £100m of government funding in the next four years.
“The cycle track is safe for non-competitive use and continues to be well used on a very regular basis.”
Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas has lent her support to the campaign. She wrote to them to say: “Whilst I don’t have any direct influence in the matter, I’m asking for more information about funding avenues that might be pursued to bring the track back up to competitive racing standard, and I hope that it will be possible to identify a way forward soon.
“I hope the event this Saturday goes well, and helps to show how valued the track is within both the local and cycling communities.”
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.