ROAD closures have been announced ahead of Evesham Mop Fair taking place right in the town centre for the first time.

The fair has taken place at the Old Brewery Car Park in recent years but has now moved due to the car park closing to make way for the new Waitrose store.

A new plan has been devised for the funfair taking in much of Vine Street and the High Street from Thursday October 5 until Saturday October 7.

Cllr Mark Goodge, deputy mayor of Evesham Town Council said: "The fair had to move as the Old Brewery Car Park is a building site now.

"It was originally a street fair in the town centre and after a discussion between the district, town and county councils as well as the emergency services, an agreement was made between all the relevant parties.

"It is a bit of an experiment, but hopefully it will be as successful as previous years."

The traffic in the town will be altered from 7pm on Wednesday October 4 to the late hours of the Saturday.

As part of the fair, Evesham Charter Market will be moved to Bridge Street. The High Street and Vine Street will be closed to traffic in a southbound direction and Bridge Street will be closed on the Saturday only.

Southbound traffic, will be diverted down Oat Street. Mill Bank will be made 2 way (with traffic lights) with traffic being sent over Workman Bridge and then turning right onto Waterside to continue southbound. Northbound traffic will be able to proceed as normal.

Traffic lights will be at the bottom of Oat Street and Bridge Street as well as the junction with Monks Walk.

A council spokesman said: "The High Street option centres on utilising the Market Place, the Market Amenity Area, and half the width of Vine Street and the High Street up to the junction with Oat Street.

"This option makes the fair a traditional street fair as seen in towns like Hereford, Cirencester and Oxford. The fair will also retain its location on Merstow Green.

"A meeting with the emergency services was convened and they stated that they supported the fair going in the High Street, as long as northbound access could be retained.

"They stated that they worked with similar arrangements in towns such as Hereford and they foresaw no major issues.

"They had no requirement for southbound access, given that the location of both the police and fire stations are south of the town centre."

The spokesman added: "Crown Meadow was given serious consideration due to the size of the area, the minimal impact it would have on the traffic and accessibility. However, it was ruled out for a number of reasons.

" Firstly, the essence and the tradition of the mop is that it takes place in the town centre.

"Secondly, the ground conditions are not reliable on the meadow at this time of year and heavy vehicles could cause damage to it. The area is also susceptible to flooding.

"The car parks at Swan Lane were also considered. These being the one adjoining Aldi and the one over the road on the site of the former Swan Lane School. The size of the space was considered not big enough and it was also thought to be too far removed from the site at Merstow Green."

The setup at Merstow Green will remain the same as in previous years.

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