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10 April 2018, 11:39 | Updated: 10 April 2018, 11:43
Gypsies and Travellers coming to this year's Appleby Horse Fair in towed caravans are being asked not to arrive too early.
The amount of temporary stopping places in the run up to June's event has been reduced by the closure of Makepeace's Field.
The group set up to make sure the event run's smoothly says roadsides need to be clear for grazing and bowtops.
Gypsy and Traveller Billy Welch, a member of the Multi Agency Co-ordinating Group (MASCG), who work to make the Fair safer each year, said: "Gypsies and Travellers always responded very positively to our message about not arriving too soon for the Horse Fair. This is especially important this year for people who travel along the A69/A686 to Appleby Fair, as Makepeace’s Field near Alston is unfortunately no longer available as a temporary stopping place. So please take account of this when planning your journey to Appleby this year.
“So if you are bringing your trailer to Appleby please respect the Fair, plan your journey carefully using the information about temporary stopping places available at www.applebyfair.org, so you don’t arrive too early before the Fair starts on 7 June. By doing this you not only help improve road safety, but allow more space on road side verges for grazing and bowtops.”
Superintendent, Mark Pannone from Cumbria Police, said: “The top priority at every Appleby Horse Fair is always the safety of everyone involved in this unique gathering. This is why we ask Gypsies and Travellers coming to this year’s event to heed the safety advice and to not arrive too early in order to avoid causing problems on the road network.”
Eden District Council's Deputy Chief Executive and MASCG Chairman, Matthew Neal said: “The public agencies, local communities and Gypsy and Traveller representatives work continually to improve the safety of this unique gathering and to make it as enjoyable as possible for all concerned. Local publicans are again working proactively with the District Council and Cumbria Police through the Voluntary Licensing Charter to help ensure their premises are operating safely throughout the Fair for everyone’s enjoyment.
“Unfortunately this year Makepeace’s Field at Alston is no longer available as a stopping place, so we are working with Alston Moor Parish Council to look for other potential locations for a temporary stopping places for future Fairs. If any local landowners have fields they would like to make available please contact the District Council.”