Plans unveiled to reduce number of trailers ahead of Appleby Horse Fair 2015

Credit: ITV Border News

Work is well underway with local communities and public agencies to make plans for Appleby Horse Fair 2015 which is taking place between 4-8 June. The key message for this year’s Fair is to reduce the number of trailers (towed caravans) who arrive in Cumbria before the Horse Fair starts on 4th June.

Feedback has been received from local people, visitors and the Gypsy and Traveller communities about last year’s Fair by the Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG), who work to make the event safer.

“We have received a lot of favourable feedback about last year’s Fair, but it is undeniable that this event is still causing major disruption to outlying communities in Eden District, this is mainly due to Gypsies and Travellers with trailers (towed caravans) arriving far too early. “This year we will be communicating a very clear message that people with towed caravans should plan their journey carefully and not arrive before the start of the Fair on 4 June 2015. There are limited places to stay and these are needed by those who travel by traditional horse drawn bowtops. Last year, people arriving too early with trailers (towed caravans) created road safety concerns, particularly along the A685 into Kirkby Stephen, where they parked on roadside verges. We are planning additional restrictions this year that will significantly reduce the available parking spaces along this route to improve road safety.”

Dr Robin Hooper, Eden District Council’s Chief Executive and MASCG Chair

To keep up to date on the plans and news for Appleby Horse Fair 2015, including information about restrictions to temporary stopping places visit www.applebyfair.org or check out Facebook MASCGforApplebyFair.

“The pre-planning work that goes on through the MASCG with Gypsies and Travellers and the local community helps to create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere and helps ensure the Fair is safer for all concerned. The new measures we are taking this year will help to reduce traffic congestion in and around Appleby and improve road safety in outlying areas. The key message again for people with trailers (towed caravans) is not too arrive before the start of the Fair on 4 June, please plan your journey well in advance.”

Billy Welch, a Gypsy and Traveller representative on MASCG

Other changes planned for this year’s Fair include a new traffic management for Appleby Town Centre to ease congestion.

“After last year’s fair, the County Council reviewed the traffic control systems and infrastructure that we use both to manage the increased volume of traffic during the fair, and to minimise disruption in Appleby. As a result, we will be upgrading traffic signs at 19 locations within Appleby and the surrounding area before this year’s fair and further measures are planned for next year. “In response to feedback from the public and concerns raised about inconsiderate parking near junctions and bends on the A685, near Kirkby Stephen, the council has introduced some additional parking restrictions immediately before and after the fair in order to improve road safety.”

Cllr Martin Stephenson, Chair of Cumbria County Council’s Eden Local Committee and local member for Appleby