20th Oct, 2020

Fears Mop could 'die out' as move is still uncertain

EVESHAM’S popular Mop Fair could die out if highways chiefs fail to approve plans to bring the rides into the heart of the town centre, organisers have claimed.

The Mop has been in search of a new home after organisers were told the current Old Brewery Car Park venue couldn’t be used because of demolition work on the old fire station to make way for a Waitrose store.

The Observer revealed last year initial talks were held between Mop organiser Edward Danter, Evesham Town Council, Worcestershire County Council and emergency services on moving the rides to the High Street.

According to Mop organisers, an agreement was then drawn up to move the rides onto the High Street, stretching from Merstow Green to Oat Street.

Under the plans the road would then be closed for three and a half days while the Mop took place. Traffic would then be re-routed in the same way it was when the Abbey Bridge was being replaced, with vehicles able to drive down Oat Street to cross the Workman Bridge.

However, this week it has emerged no progress has been made on the plans and Mr Danter said he was concerned time was running out, with only eight months until the event is due to take place.

“I am very concerned about the situation and there is a lack of time now to sort it out,” he said.

“There are lots of independent traders who have been coming here for generations and I’ve got to fit them in somewhere.

“It’s very frustrating. The Mop is a big part of the town and it’s a big event on the town’s calendar.

“I don’t think we have any other options. We asked to use another car park in the town, but Wychavon were against the idea.

“If we haven’t got the High Street to put the rides on then it will be down to a very small Mop on Merstow Green and it would die out.

“Small Mops don’t attract a large number of people,” he added.

Mr Danter urged council bosses to push ahead with the plans and admitted he was surprised so little movement had been made.

Final proposals would have to be approved by highways chiefs at Worcestershire County Council.

A spokesperson said: “Talks are still ongoing about where the rides will be located in the town.

“A meeting is being organised between Wychavon District Council and Evesham Town Council soon to discuss feasible options.”

Evesham Town Council’s clerk Stuart Carter told the Observer the council would meet with both the County Council and Wychavon District Council to discuss all the options.

What do you think? Write to the editor by e-mailing editor@eveshamobserver.co.uk with your views.

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