[Y]esterday (29 May) stopping places ‘opened’ in South Lakeland for Gypsies and Travellers making their way to Appleby Horse Fair.
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) works with partner organisations including the county council, police and neighbouring local authorities, to assist the migration of Gypsies and Travellers through the district on their way to and from the fair.
SLDC staff organise the temporary sites in South Lakeland for both traditional ‘bowtop’ caravans and motorised towed caravans at locations on routes through the district to Appleby.
The temporary stopping points in South Lakeland are available until Thursday 7 June, and following the fair from Monday 11 June, to Friday 15 June, at the following locations:
- Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale
- Middleton Common, near Sedbergh
- Rawthey Bridge, Cautley, near Sedbergh
- Scrogg Bank, Sedbergh
Skips and toilets are provided at all of the temporary stopping sites, and water is available at Devil’s Bridge and Scrogg Bank.
SLDC enforcement officers and police officers will be regularly visiting the temporary stopping sites during the periods of occupation to ensure sites and facilities are being used safely.
Travellers have already been strongly advised to plan their journeys carefully and not to arrive too early with towed caravans, to reduce the impact the event has on communities on routes to Appleby.
However, it is recognised that horse drawn bowtop caravans have to undertake a staged approach when travelling to the fair and temporary stopping sites are essential for their journey.
Motorists are advised to take additional care on local roads, particularly the A683, and to be aware there will be slow moving horse drawn vehicles on this and other local routes at this time.
The annual horse fair runs from 7-10 June, attracting around 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers as well as up to 30,000 visitors, transforming the town of Appleby.