AN event that previously drew thousands of people to Barrow town centre has been cancelled this year.

The Super Soapbox Challenge, which attracted town centre visitors in their droves in 2019, will not go ahead as planned.

Organised by the Barrow Business Improvement District, the event pitted the town’s best engineers in a high-speed head-to-head down Dalton Road.

Olympic ski jumper Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards piloted the first soapbox down the ramp, traversing hay bales and chicanes as the first of 19 competitors.

This year’s event was due to to take place on August 30 after being pushed back from May.

But organisers announced yesterday that it would not go ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Colin Garnett, the manager of Barrow BID, lamented having to cancel the event.

He said: “It is with huge disappointment that we have had to cancel the 2020 Barrow Super Soapbox Challenge Event.

“Barrow BID and the Super Soapbox Challenge team have been meeting regularly to discuss how we can put on the event and keep the competitors, staff and crowds safe, however, we have decided that it is impossible to guarantee the safety of everyone and no event is worth risking the life of someone who attends.

“It is just another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the amount of work and money it takes to organise we have to make a call and with large social gatherings still banned we can’t put the safety of people at risk, so unfortunately we have had to cancel the event.”

The challenge has been scheduled to return on next year’s spring bank holiday.

It is due to take place on Sunday May 30 2021.