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Sean Yates backs campaign to save Brighton's Preston Park velodrome

Oldest track in country closed for racing after safety inspection

Sean Yates has backed a campaign to save Britain’s oldest velodrome after it was declared unsafe for racing by British Cycling. A petition has also been launched to try and safeguard the future of the track in Preston Park, Brighton.

The governing body last year submitted a list to owners Brighton & Hove City Council of defects that need remedying before the track can be cleared for competitive use.

The council has said that the track is safe for use out of competition, and remains well frequented by cyclists, reports BBC News.

But local campaigners who have launched a Facebook page and a petition to call for repairs to be made fear that with no competitive racing, the days of the facility, which opened in 1878, might be numbered.

The petition was launched by local cyclist Rupert Rivett of the Sussex Cycle Racing League, who told the BBC: "Cyclists that come from this track have gone on to become professionals.

"Without racing, which is the heart of it, we could see this track being lost."

Yates, winner of a Tour de France stage in 1988 and recently appointed sports director at Tinkoff-Saxo, has used the 579-metre track regularly.

He said: "If it's gone, it's gone and that would be a great shame. It's a fantastic facility."

In a statement, British Cycling said it was working with the council to try and bring the track up to standard, but there remained concerns over how such works might be funded, with the council exploring potential sources of finance.

Meanwhile, Rivett has launched a petition on the council’s website to try and save the facility. It reads: 

We the undersigned petition Brighton & Hove Council to complete the work needed to make Preston Park Cycle Track suitable for the racing season of 2015. We would also like to see investment in this facility to help make it the centre of excellence for cycling it could be for our area.

The oldest outdoor cycle track in the country is in danger of being lost due to lack of investment and care.

Preston Park Cycle Track has loads of potential for open cycling events which can draw in the crowds from afar if looked after properly.

Please see the potential and save the track.

The petition will be presented to the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee on 17 March 2015.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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7 comments

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othello | 8 years ago
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Palmer Park velodrome in Reading failed an inspection recently. After a lot of work by many people, including Reading Council, it passed a safety inspection today and is back open for competition. The Council do need a thumbs up for getting this done quickly (and footing the bill). It shows it can be done if the will is there from local government.

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Rupert | 9 years ago
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There is a SAVE PRESTON PARK CYCLE TRACK "Slow ride" meeting at the track on the 28th February 2015. Come along and support the campaign.
http://www.facebook.com/saveprestonparkcycletrack

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jollygoodvelo | 9 years ago
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It's just a question of doing the calculation, one expects.

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KirinChris | 9 years ago
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What exactly were the things that BC felt needed doing?

Given that it's being raced as an outdoor road circuit, not a velodrome track, I'm really struggling to imagine how it would not be up to standard.

I raced there last winter and it seemed fine. A lot less sketchy than the average Surrey road race that's for sure.

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Huw Watkins replied to KirinChris | 9 years ago
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abudhabiChris wrote:

What exactly were the things that BC felt needed doing?

Given that it's being raced as an outdoor road circuit, not a velodrome track, I'm really struggling to imagine how it would not be up to standard.

I raced there last winter and it seemed fine. A lot less sketchy than the average Surrey road race that's for sure.

Agreed. Nowhere have I seen stated just what's up with the track

Avatar
mrmo replied to Huw Watkins | 9 years ago
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Huw Watkins wrote:

Agreed. Nowhere have I seen stated just what's up with the track

I seem to remember reading something about the fencing being a safety issue.

Avatar
Rupert | 9 years ago
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Dear Road CC

Thanks for publishing this important story.
Please everybody sign the e-petition it takes less than 2 min to do.

Please sign the E-Petition http://goo.gl/uuunlG

Follow the Campaign on Social Media

Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/saveprestonparkcycletrack

Twitter Page http://www.twitter.com/saveppct

BBC Coverage http://goo.gl/5uCZZk

E-mail us if you think you can help saveppct [at] virginmedia.com

Rupert can be contact on 07771928201

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