Travel advice ahead of Appleby horse fair
PUBLIC agencies are advising motorists to be aware of horse drawn vehicles in the lead up to Appleby horse fair, which starts on Thursday.
The plea comes from agencies which form the Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) which works each year to make the annual gathering of gypsies and travellers safer for all concerned.
Superintendent Mark Pannone, of Cumbria police, said: "Road safety is one of the most important aspects throughout the entirety of the fair, but particularly when gypsies and travellers begin making their way to Appleby.
"We need drivers to be aware that they could come across very slow-moving horse-drawn vehicles as they use the road network at this time of year. We need drivers to not only be aware of this fact but to adjust the manner of their driving accordingly to help ensure that everyone completes their journeys safely.
"For those travelling to the fair on horse-drawn vehicles, we would urge them to make themselves as visible as possible to other road users, particularly when travelling on major routes."
Those travelling to the fair are urged to plan their journey in advance. Those attending the event with trailers or caravans are advised not to arrive before Thursday and also ensure they use temporary stopping places provided.
During the fair, which runs until from Thursday until next Sunday, a road closure will be in place on the Sands Road in Appleby between the hours of 9-30am and 6pm.
The "flashing lane" is part of Long Marton Road, which is closed during the fair from 9-30am-6pm from Friday to Sunday. This is to prevent the likelihood of conflict between horses and other traffic while the trotting of horses takes place.
The public are encouraged not to enter the "flashing lane", especially the carriageway. For those who choose to do so, however, barriers are in place on the adjacent verge to provide protection. Anybody who enters the "flashing lane" does so at their own risk and is advised to take extra care.