Ironman UK has been revamped - with Leyland and most of Chorley cut off from the triathlon's cycling route
The annual Ironman UK triathlon has been revamped – with Chorley and Leyland being almost completely cut out from the route.
The cycling part of the triathlon, an eye watering 112 miles, will only kiss the borough coming to Rivington and the edge of Anderton.
Last year’s route went clockwise through Anderton, Heath Charnock, Coppull, Mawdesley, Croston, Leyland, Buckshaw Village, Clayton-le-Woods and down through Wheelton and White Coppice.
The route was meant to also travel through Abbey Village and Roddlesworth up to Belmont but this was cut off due to the moor fire at Winter Hill.
Rebecca Huddleston, Director of Policy and Governance at Chorley Council, said: “The Ironman event brings a lot of attention to the Chorley borough and showcases our fantastic cycling routes.
“A lot of visitors choose to watch the race around the Rivington area so the changes to the route will not affect them or local businesses in that area.
“However, we know many local people in other villages around the Chorley borough have been frustrated about not being able to get out and about on the day of Ironman and we’re sure these changes to the route will be welcomed by them.”
Chorley Coun Alan Whittaker, who represents Chisnall ward as well as being clerk for Heskin Parish Council, has welcomed the change after years of raising issues with the route.
Coun Whittaker said: “Because the route is two laps, elite riders could be one and a half hours ahead of the rest.
"Roads would be closed for eight to 10 hours.
“People in Heskin are very cross and disadvantaged when coming and going around the village and places like Croston.
"People couldn’t get to church, businesses were cut off – it was impossible to get out.
"The parish councils I have been to are very, very pleased it's not coming back this time."
On the day of the race itself, Helmshore Road (Haslingden), Jackson Heights Road (Belthorn), Rivington Lane (Rivington), Sheep House Lane (Anderton), Horrobin Lane (Anderton), Roscoe Lowe Brow (Anderton), and Rivington Lane (Anderton) will all be closed from 7am to 5pm.
The Ironman UK website states: "New for 2019, bikes will pass Transition 2 at Queens Park and ride alongside the run course through Bolton Town Centre.
"The bike course then travels East towards Bury, before heading North through Ramsbottom where the scenic, undulating ride really starts.
"The course continues through the breathtaking Lancashire countryside before heading down the famous Sheephouse Lane, through Rivington, down Chorley New Road and back to Queens Park for Lap 2."
Ironman UK has been contacted for a comment.