altApril 17 - Plans to secure the future of road racing in Britain were announced today, including the investment of extra funds to help meet stringent health and safety regulations.


British Cycling has come under increasing pressure this year after several high profile races had been cancelled.


Today they unveiled a series of measures designed to help overcome the problems.


A spokesman said: "TheBritish Cycling has continued to progress its work on behalf of the cycling community to resolve the issues and threats to road racing in the UK.


"For some time now, British Cycling has been lobbying the relevant Government authorities whilst also looking at the changes that are needed to be made within the sport itself and the extra support required for organisers and event volunteers.


"Following the cancellation of a number of events in March, British Cycling has stepped up the dialogue with Government and has recently been informed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that a working group has been formed with the Home Office and the Department for Transport to consider the steps that can be taken to resolve the issues we are facing."


In a letter to British Cycling, Gerry Sutcliffe MP, Minister of Sport, DCMS, confirmed the discussions.


He wrote: "My department is committed to doing all it can to ensure a bright future for British Cycling road races, especially in light of the fantastic performances by our cyclists last year, none more so than Nicole Cooke's Gold in Beijing.


"I can assure you that officials in my Department are working with the Home Office and the Department for Transport to discuss the steps which can be reasonably taken to ensure the best outcome for British Cycling and will be establishing a working group.


"As part of this process we will ensure British Cycling is consulted on the issues they face as we look to resolve them."


British Cycling also plans to invest additional resources to help find a solution.


These include the appointment of an events policy officer to complement the work that is now ongoing within the Government in relation to securing the long-term future of cycle sport on the highway.


They will be supported by 10 full-time regional events officers and a national championship series co-ordinator.

Ian Drake, British Cycling's chief executive, said: "The law and issues around road racing are complex and it will take time to resolve, however, with the backing and support of Government, UK Sport and Sport England and the increased investment from British Cycling, we can now drive forward the necessary changes required.


"British Cycling is determined to play its full part in bringing about the right solutions which will allow this great sport to survive and flourish in the future."