Villagers call for Ironman UK to stay away

The Ironman triathletes cycled through the borough
The Ironman triathletes cycled through the borough
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Don’t come back!

That’s the message from villagers to organisers of the Ironman UK race.

The cycling section of the prestigious triathlon came through areas of the borough.

But residents claim it caused so much disruption, they do not want it to return.

Coun Alan Whittaker, whose Chisnall ward takes in Heskin which the race passed through, said: “Speaking as a borough councillor, I sent a letter to Ironman saying we don’t want it in Heskin any more.

“I tried to persuade Ironman to change the route - they didn’t want to know.

“I pointed out as a result of the route they planned, two churches had to close, the local village convenience store would be greatly embarrassed because nobody would be able to get to it.

“There were several businesses both at Heskin Hall and the village hall which were compromised.

“In addition, I had complaints carers could not get to their clients.”

Resident John McKenna also wrote to the council with a list of complaints.

They included a lack of information about possible disruption, no diversion signs and a lack of police presence.

He said: “It is often overlooked by many of those organising events that persons other than interested parties and participants need to be considered.

“Outsiders are often considered as ‘kill-joys’, negative or just downright obstructive.

“This is not the case.”

Kevin Stewart, Ironman regional director, said 70,000 leaflets had been sent to houses, signs put on affected roads and policing agreed with Lancashire Constabulary.

He added: “Ironman UK has spent a considerable amount of time working with Lancashire highways, the police and our traffic management company to plan a route that minimises the impact on the local area from the bike course closures.”