Appleby Horse Fair prompts traffic warnings and delays across Cumbria

Travellers and visitors arrivein the town at Appleby Horse Fair 2024, an annual gathering of Gypsies and Travellers in the town of Appleby in Westmorland, which takes place over a week. 06/06/24

The fair attracts huge crowds every year (Picture: SWNS for MailOnline)

Drivers could face delays across Cumbria as tens of thousands descend on the Appleby Horse Fair.

Every year the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland hosts the huge horse fair, which is the only fair of its kind in Europe and sees 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers and 30,000 others take part.

Horses are washed in the town’s river and ridden in races or displays, with markets available throughout the week-long event.

This year’s event promises to be as busy as ever despite the sad news that a horse died after being ‘worked to death’ on Wednesday afternoon.

And the roads around Appleby are set to be busy as attendees make their way to the fair.

A National Highways spokesperson said: ‘The annual Appleby Horse Fair is taking place during the weekend along the A66 near Penrith off junction 40 of the M6, and the Cumberland Show is being held along the A69 at Warwick Bridge just off junction 43 of the M6 at Carlisle on Saturday.

Horses race through the streets during the event (Picture: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

‘This will probably be the first really busy weekend of the summer on the county’s roads, and while our regional control centre and on road traffic officers will be working around the clock to keep everyone on the move there is plenty drivers can do to help themselves – like planning journeys before setting out and carrying out some basic vehicle checks.’

The agency has issued advice for people driving to and within Cumbria over the weekend, including:

Planning and leaving plenty of time for journeys

Checking travel conditions before setting out and, where it is safe to do so, during journeys

Ensuring they and their motorbikes or cars are fit for the journey – including taking regular breaks and topping up with fuel

Checking live traffic information and following advice – for example from National Highways’ website or local and national radio travel bulletins and electronic road signs. Local and national X (formerly Twitter) services are also available at @HighwaysNWEST and @NationalHways.

Two people have also been arrested for public order offences at the horse fair, unrelated to the RSPCA appeal to identify the owner of the horse which died at the event on Wednesday.

The arrests, near the Midland Hotel, happened after police were called to help the RSPCA who had ‘difficulty’ being allowed access to horses by ‘obstructive owners’.

Discussing the horse death, Gypsy representatives Billy Welch and Bill Lloyd said: ‘We condemn in the strongest possible terms whoever has done this.

‘We are sickened and saddened by the cruelty that this person or persons have shown.

‘We have no hesitation is asking anyone who has any knowledge of this awful event to cooperate fully with police and RSPCA in identifying whoever is responsible.’

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Source:: Metro


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