Fair-goers who bring towed caravans are being asked to plan their journey to the 2019 Appleby Horse Fair carefully and to not arrive too soon.
The number of stopping places being made available on the route to Appleby is falling year on year and people are asked to keep this in mind when making plans.
You can find a list of available stopping places here http://www.applebyfair.org/travellers/stopping-places
Gypsy and Traveller representative Billy Welch, a member of the Multi Agency Co-ordinating Group (MASCG), who work to make the Fair safer each year, said: “Each year we ask people not to arrive too soon to the Fair and each year the response from Gypsies and Travellers is positive.
“Those people travelling across with bow tops obviously have no option but to set off early but I would ask those with towed caravans not to come too soon, particularly with the loss of some important stopping places in recent years such as Makepeace’s Field near Alston.”
Those heading to the Fair should also be aware that areas of the A685 identified as particularly unsafe for stopping will be clearly marked and strictly enforced – including horse-drawn vehicles. Those who ignore the markings risk a court summons or Traffic Offence Report (fixed penalty) and vehicles may be removed by recovery vehicles.
Cumbria Police is also keen for those travelling to the Fair not to arrive too soon.
Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said: “For the police, our number one priority is always the safety of everyone involved.
“If we have large numbers of Gypsies and Travellers arriving too soon it risks creating problems on the road network and putting at risk all road users.
“I would ask people to please heed this advice in order to keep themselves and others safe in the lead up to this year’s Fair.”
Eden District Council’s Director of Corporate Services and MASCG Chairman, Matthew Neal said: “The Strategic Co-ordinating Group brings together public agencies, Councillor representatives and Gypsy and Traveller representatives to help make this unique event as safe and as enjoyable as possible for all.
“I would urge people to continue to listen to the advice regarding not coming to the Fair too early, particularly in light of the loss of some key stopping places in recent years.
“We are always working to make new stopping places available as part of the work of the MASCG and we would urge any local landowners who think they may have suitable land they could make available to please contact the District Council.”