A 58-MILE electric rally due to take place this weekend has been called off over Covid-19 fears.

Sixty entrants were set to take part in the trip from London to Brighton on Sunday, with stars including Fatboy Slim scheduled to take part in the first Big Lemon London to Brighton electric vehicle rally.

A variety of electric vehicles were due to take part, including a self-built former chicken coop, an assortment of motorbikes and the Ardingly Ifield solar car that crossed Australia.

TV presenter, travel writer and motorcycle enthusiast, Charley Boorman, as well as actor Mark Lester were also set to join in.

However, organisers have now postponed the event due to rising infection in the city.

The rally will now take place on September 18, it has been confirmed.

A spokesman for the event said: "Following our announcement last night we are very disappointed to have to confirm that the rally cannot go ahead this Sunday as planned due to the large increase in Covid cases in Brighton and Hove.

"Specifically, the Cabinet Office guidance says people should 'minimise travel in and out of affected areas' and identifies Brighton and Hove as an affected area.

"Following discussions with stakeholders throughout yesterday afternoon, evening and this morning, we feel we have no option but to postpone the event and have confirmed Saturday, September 18, as the new date.

"This is the only weekend date in September where Madeira Drive on Brighton seafront is available to use, and we feel that finishing on Brighton seafront, with all the events around the finish line that have been planned, is a core part of the event.

"We are aiming for the same format in September, with a pre-rally launch in London in the evening on Friday September 17, the rally on Saturday morning, the E-village and all the activities on Brighton seafront on Saturday afternoon, and the after-party on Saturday evening.

"Obviously we are devastated, and we know how disappointed everyone will be with this news, but the safety of our staff, participants and the public is our highest priority.

"A huge amount of work has gone into the preparations for Sunday, not just from us but from all our stakeholders and participants, and we are very sorry that we are having to take this action.

"We are however very much looking forward to welcoming you to an even better event on September 18.

"We wish all our partners, stakeholders and participants an enjoyable summer; stay safe, and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 18."

It comes amid a four per cent weekly rise in cases in Brighton and Hove, with 1,270 confirmed new cases in the seven days up to July 9.

That is equivalent to a weekly rate of 436.6 per 100,000 residents, higher than the South East rate of 242.1 per 100,000 and the England rate of 341.5 per 100,000.

The pattern of infection has risen in all areas of the city and all age groups.

Dr Katie Cuming, public health consultant with Brighton and Hove City Council, recommends that everyone in the city continues to remain cautious and act responsibly after restrictions end on Monday, to stop the virus spreading "out of control".

She said: “Only one in two adults in the city has had two vaccinations so we still have a little way to go before everyone is properly protected.

"There are still vulnerable people among us who could become very unwell if they catch the virus.

“As well as keeping up the basic good hygiene habits that we’ve been following for the past year, the two most important things we can do are to get vaccinated and take symptom-free Covid tests twice a week.

“If you haven’t already booked your first vaccination, please do so today."