Warning ahead of region's largest annual gathering of Travellers

Appleby Horse Fair
Appleby Horse Fair

Travellers have been issued a warning ahead of this year's Appleby Horse Fair.

Gypsies and Travellers who stopped on the A685 prior to the Horse Fair last year are being advised that in 2019 certain areas will be closed to all camping - including motor vehicles, trailers and horse-drawn vehicles.

In a statement event co-coordinators said: "Stopping on sections of the A685 has the potential to cause serious public safety issues – both for those stopping in an area that is not suitable and for those other road users. Stopping on the A685 has the potential to cause traffic issues due to poor visibility for other motorists and by creating obstructions for other traffic.

"Areas of the A685 identified as particularly unsafe for stopping will be clearly marked and strictly enforced. People should also note that this includes horse-drawn vehicles, which cause the same level of obstruction and poor visibility as motors and trailers. "

All verges on the A685 outside the prohibited areas will be monitored for obstruction of the highway, overcrowding of vehicles, danger to pedestrians, and badly tethered horses and any vehicles causing a problem may be moved on.

Anyone who ignores the enforcement markings faces receiving a fixed penalty Traffic Offence Report and vehicles may be removed by recovery vehicles.

The Appleby Horse takes place between June 6-9 and attrcats up to 50,000 visitors to the Cumbrian vollage.

Eden District Council's director of corporate services and chairman of the fair's Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group, Matthew Neal said: “There are sections of the A685 along which it is simply not safe for anyone to be stopping and, as such, stopping there will not be tolerated.

“I would urge people in the Gypsy and Traveller community to help spread that message to anyone who is travelling to this year’s fair so they can make alternative arrangements.

“There are designated temporary stopping places. However, these are limited and we would ask people, wherever possible, to avoid coming to the Fair too early.”

A list of temporary designated stopping places, alongside information on some fields previously used which are no longer available, can be found www.applebyfair.org/travellers/stopping-places