THERE are fears for the future of Britain’s oldest cycling track after the sport’s governing body deemed it unsafe for competitive racing.

Preston Park Velodrome in Brighton has staged races every year – other than during the two world wars – since it was built in 1877.

However, competitive action is set to be called off this summer after British Cycling deemed the track unsafe.

The governing body sent a report to Brighton and Hove City Council, which owns and maintains the track, to break the news.

The council is now said to be working with British Cycling to bring the track back up to standard.

The track is widely used by cycling clubs, triathlon groups and amateur cyclists throughout the year.

Being the only facility of its kind in the area, professionals have often used it including track cycling superstar and double Olympic gold medal winner Laura Trott and Tour de France veteran Sean Yates.

A Facebook group called Save Preston Park Cycle Track has had more than 3,400 likes.

Anthony Rogers, head coach at Preston Park Youth Cycling Club, uses the track.

He said: “It is also the oldest track in the country and the second-oldest in the world and has historical significance.

“If racing is cancelled this year then it will be a real shame.”

Cycling has enjoyed a boom in recent years, with the success of British riders such as Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Mark Cavendish.

Sussex Cycle Racing League, the group behind racing at the track, said it was unable to plan for any events this year until the situation had been resolved.

A council spokeswoman said: “The cycle track no longer meets competition standards as they are very different from day-to-day requirements. The cycle track is safe for non-competitive use.

“The council is looking to identify the cost associated with bringing the cycle track up to British Cycling competition standards and we hope British Cycling will assist us with this. We then need to explore potential sources of funding.”

A petition has been set up calling on the council to invest in the facility. To sign the petition, visit