A major sporting event, scheduled to take place in Honiton tomorrow (Sunday), has been postponed because travellers have pitched up on Allhallows Playing Field.
Pure Endurance was due to stage a fund-raising triathlon on the field but has been advised by local authorities to cancel the event.
It is understood there were question marks over the event’s insurance – if it went ahead with the travellers still on the field.
A spokesperson for Pure Endurance released a statement saying: “Due to circumstances out of our control we have had to take the difficult decision to postpone tomorrow’s triathlon. A number of travellers arrived on the field, including the transition area, last night with no intention to move until Monday. Therefore, we cannot set up the event.
“We have consulted with the local authorities and feel this is best for everyone.
“We want everyone to have the best race experience possible and will be in touch shortly with an advised date.”
Those planning to take part in the triathlon were disappointed to hear it had been postponed. They have taken to social media to complain, saying they have spent time and money preparing for the challenge.
They say, they are “gutted”.
Others, who were hoping to turn out and support the event, describe the situation as “disgusting” and have asked why the travellers can’t be moved on.
Honiton Sprint Triathlon was due to be headquartered at Honiton Rugby Club on the playing field next to the town’s swimming pool.
The law currently allows landowners to evict travellers and this can involve taking court action.
In the meantime, travellers can ask the local authority to supply facilities such as temporary toilets.
Only in the following circumstances can unauthorised travellers be evicted immediately:
- If they have parked up on a road, verge or in a layby in a way that obstructs or could be a danger to road users
- If they occupy cultivated land, such as farmland.
- If travellers pitch up in enclosed plantations, such as Forestry Commission sites.