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9/5/2011 - Plan your journey to Appleby Fair using: www.applebyfair.org

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Sent on Behalf of Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group for Appleby Horse Fair

The official website for Appleby Horse Fair - www.applebyfair.orgthis external link will open in a new window Ė is up and running for 2011 with the latest information for people planning to attend Britainís largest horse fair.

The Fair annually attracts around 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers and over 30,000 other visitors to Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria from 2 June to 8 June.

The Horse Fair has a unique build up which sees around 200 traditional horse drawn bow-tops and over 1,500 caravans travelling through Cumbria as Gypsies and Travellers make their way to Appleby. To accommodate this extra traffic safely for all the communities concerned certain road restrictions apply. For the welfare of horses, additional grazing areas and water supplies are provided at certain temporary stopping places and transit sites. 

Gypsies and Travellers attending Appleby Horse Fair are being encouraged not to arrive in Cumbria too early. The public agencies who undertake the operational planning for the event (Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group or MASCG) are asking those travelling to the Fair to arrive in Cumbria from the 23 May 2011 onwards, and to plan their journey using the transit sites and temporary stopping places provided.

MASCG Gypsy and Traveller representative, Billy Welch, said: "There are a limited number of temporary stopping places for motors are available, so if youíre travelling to the Fair by motorised transport, please donít arrive too early. 

"The Appleby Fair website shows the organised temporary stopping places, so please use the details on there to plan your route and then please use and respect the temporary stopping places being provided.

"As well as this traditional roadside verge encampments can continue to be used where it is safe to do so by motorised vehicles unless signage indicates otherwise."

"We want to maintain the character of the traditional Horse Fair, and because of our commitment to the welfare of the horses most traditional roadside grazing, resting and stopping places for horses are not affected by these temporary restrictions.

"On some camps, verges and other sites, clear signs will be displayed which indicate to Gypsies and Travellers, and to residents and visitors, that the site is reserved for horses, bow-tops and other horse drawn turn-outs. We want all communities to have a positive, safe and enjoyable Appleby Fair."

www.applebyfair.orgthis external link will open in a new window contains information for local residents, visitors and Gypsies and Travellers. It includes details about public transport arrangements and an interactive map of car parks and where public amenities are located during the Fairís duration. 

For visitor information about Appleby-in-Westmorland please contact the townís tourist information centre telephone 017683 51177 or email tic@applebytown.org.uk

The website contains information on the transit sites and temporary stopping places and when they open. The main licensed encampments for Appleby Fair will not open until 4am on Thursday 2 June 2011. Any organised or planned encampments in a 1.5 mile zone centred around Fair Hill in Appleby must have planning consent and a site licence and cannot be occupied before Thursday 2 June 2011.

The temporary stopping places for the 2011 Appleby Horse Fair in South Lakeland and Eden are:

South Lakeland:

* Middleton Common, Sedbergh

* Devil's Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale

* Rawthey Bridge, Sedbergh

* Scrogg Bank, Sedbergh

Eden District:

* Alston

* Cote Moor (Fell End) 

* Melmerby

* Sandford

* Warcop (Horse drawn only, no motorised vehicles)

* Soulby (Very limited space for motorised vehicles) 

* Watergate Bottom

* Brough

Please note that the temporary stopping places at North Stainmore and the Turning Circle in Church Brough will not be available for the 2011 Horse Fair.

ENDS

Media enquiries to Media Officer Chris Little on 01228 226335.