THOUSANDS of athletes, spectators and their families are expected for Bolton’s annual Ironman weekend of sport.

Bolton has been home to the country’s biggest and longest running Ironman race – which is open to men and women - for the past ten years.

Ironman UK competitors have to complete a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile cycle and then run a marathon.

And this year there is a new bike course which will mean athletes cycling along Chorley New Road, passing Queens Park, coming into Bolton town centre, on to Le Mans Crescent before heading to Bury via Folds Road and Tonge Moor Road.

This year also sees the introduction of Night Run, a new 5k evening race on Friday 12 July, and the world’s largest Ironkids race on Saturday, 13 July.

Temporary road closures will be in place in the run up to the event and during the weekend to ensure the safety of the athletes and the wider public.

Residents are advised to be aware of road closures and plan their journeys.

Ironman UK Race Director, Sam Brawn, said: “We are looking forward to another great year in Bolton.

“Ironman UK is one of the biggest events of the year and with an event of this scale, certain road closures are necessary to ensure safety.

“The support of the people in and around Bolton is what makes this event special and we thank everyone for getting behind the event.

“We look forward to an exciting race and hope to see the famous Bolton support on the course once more, cheering the athletes on.”

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Cllr Stuart Haslam added: “Ironman is a huge event for Bolton bringing visitors and investment into the borough.

“And this year it is even bigger and better with the introduction of the 5k Night Run event for people of all abilities and a tough but exciting new cycle route for Ironman UK.

“We want to make sure all of these events are once again a success for the town and the road closures are essential to facilitate the events safely.

“We would encourage people to plan their travel and we would like to thank residents, businesses and motorists in advance for their patience and support. If you have any road access queries then please ring the Ironman helpline number on 0333 011 6600.

“I would also like to wish everyone competing the best of luck – it is such a huge feat and I’m looking forward to cheering everybody on.”

Which roads will be closed?

Bury Times:

A number of roads will be closed in the town centre during the weekend:-

• Victoria Square between town hall and Paderborn House will be closed to traffic and parking from 6am on Monday 8 July to 9am to allow preparations to start.

• Le Mans Crescent, and Howell Croft North and South will be closed from Friday 12 July from 6am to 9am on Monday 15 July.

• Knowsley Street to Deansgate will be closed on Friday 12 July from 4pm to 9pm for Night Run; on Saturday 13 July from 6am to 3pm for Iron Kids; and on Sunday 14 July from 6am to midnight for Ironman UK.

• Chorley Street and Bark Street will both closed on Friday 12 July between 4pm to 9pm and on Sunday July 14 from 6am to midnight.

• Spa Road closed eastbound on Friday 12 July from 4pm to 9pm, and closed in both directions on Sunday 14 July from 6am to midnight.

On Sunday 14 July the following town centre roads will also be closed:-

• Marsden Road, Blackhorse Street, Queen Street, and Ashburner Street will be closed from 6am to 2pm.

• St Georges Road between Topp Way and Higher Bridge Street will be closed west bound from 6.30am to 2pm. Access to Topp Way car park will still be available.

• Higher Bridge Street will be closed southbound from 6.30am to 2pm.

• Folds Road closed eastbound from 6.30am to 2pm but traffic will continue to flow west into the town centre.

The following roads will also be closed on Sunday, July 14 for the cycle and marathon routes:-

• Platt Lane; Park Road from Waters Nook Rd to Chequerbent roundabout; Manchester Road (A6) from Park Road to Bolton Road; Bolton Road from Manchester Rd (A6) to Chew Moor Lane; Chew Moor Lane; St Johns Road; New Tempest Road; Tempest Road; Rumworth Road from Tempest Road to Regent Road, and Regent Road will be closed from 6am to 9.30am.

• Park Road and Mayor Street closed from 6am to 5.30pm.

• Chorley New Road (from Beaumont Road to Queens Park) closed from 6am to midnight.

• Chorley New Road from Crown roundabout in Horwich to Beaumont Road will be closed from 6am to 10am, and closed eastbound 10am to 5.30pm.

• Thicketford Road will be closed eastbound from 6.30am to 2.30pm.

• Tonge Moor Road from Folds Road to Thicketford Road closed from 6.30am to 2.30pm.

• Winchester Way, Deepdale Road, Red Lane, Bury Old Road, and Arthur Lane closed from 7am to 2.30pm.

• Roading Brook Road/Harwood Road to Tottington will be closed from 7am to 2.30pm.

Shoppers are advised that Middlebrook Retail Park will be open as usual 11am to 5pm - please enter from De Havilland Way past Tesco.

More information

For information about the event, visit www.ironman.com/uk. Detail about all road closures: http://www.bolton.gov.uk/website/pages/Roadclosuresandrestrictions.aspx

Download road access information leaflets at the following links:-

• IMUK Bike North 2019

• IMUK Bike South 2019

• IMUK Bike Course Map 2019

• IMUK Chorley New Road 2019

• IMUK Bolton Town Centre 2019

• IMUK Bolton Town Centre Map 2019

Still need help?

Bury Times:

For more information on the road closures or access queries, contact Ironman UK on 0333 011 6600 or e-mail uk@ironmanroadaccess.com.

There are no restrictions to the emergency services during the event. Essential access for carers will be facilitated. Where necessary Ironman UK will organise a vehicle pass – please contact them directly.