A CAFE fears one of the biggest sports events in the area this weekend could hit their trade.

Ironman UK comes through East Lancashire on Sunday for one of the country’s top endurance events.

The cycling route will see action coming through parts of Rossendale through Holcombe and past Helmshore and Haslingden along Grane Road before turning off onto Jackson Heights Road opposite the Grey Mare Inn.

However, Stephen Cumming, of the Clough Head Cafe and Visitor Centre, is concerned about the closure of the westbound carriageway from 7.30am to 3.30pm.

Motorists will still be able to access their cafe from the eastbound direction, but the 53-year-old believes people will not want to take a detour to visit.

He said: “It is very frustrating as people coming from the Helmshore side and Haslingden side will have to travel an extra 20 or 30 miles on the M65 to get to us and they won’t want to do that.

“We contacted the people from Ironman to ask why didn't we receive any details about it but we were told we were just killjoys.

“We are in a different position to the Grey Mare Inn as we are set back off the road and people are not going to come to watch the race from the roadside when they can stand on footpaths or sit in car parks like at the pubs.

Janet McGivern, who works at the cafe, said: “It is so difficult as we did not know about it until people came in to show us the route.

“I live in Heywood and I am not going to be able to get here in time.

“Sunday is normally among our busiest days and it may not be.”

Meanwhile, staff at the Grey Mare Inn are making plans for the occasion and hope it will not have too much of an impact.

Rebecca Prince, landlady, said: “It will probably be affecting us but the good thing is that we have two roads they can access us from.

“We are going to be opening from 7am in the morning to offer breakfasts so people will be able to go out and spectate on the race.

“We have to try to make good of the occasion even though it probably will affect our lunch trade.”

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A spokesman for Ironman UK said: “The cafe have eastbound road access throughout the day, so any visitors can use this access to reach the cafe. The westbound closure is from 07:30-15:30.”