THE fields for Appleby Horse Fair have opened today (June 5) with an increased volume of traffic to previous years.
Bow tops were allowed onto Fair Hill from 5pm last night (June 4) and motorised vehicles were able to enter from 4am this morning when the gates officially opened.
There has been a significant increase in the number of caravans arriving in the area this year which has resulted in significant delays on the roads.
Robin Hooper, the Chair of the Multi-agency Strategic Co-ordination Group (MASCG), said: “There have been some issues at the start of the week, with some displacement of caravans into unforeseen areas.
“We take on board the issues raised by the community each year and aim to make adjustments.
“Following concerns in the Sandford Road End area, the community requested for this not to be a stopping area for this year’s Fair, which has been complied with.
“Other areas of change have been to highlight the impact of rubbish and we produced new posters showing the before and affect effects and requested for rubbish to be disposed of correctly.
“Our aim is to strike the right balance between all the communities and this is not without issues but by working together we can continue the family friendly atmosphere at the Fair.”
Road safety will continue to be a priority throughout the day, with bow tops continuing to move into the area.
Motorists are advised to continue to be careful when driving in the area, with the risk of slow moving vehicles being around the corner.
Superintendent Sean Robinson, who is leading the policing operation for the Fair, said: "We will be hosting the first Community Group Meeting tonight, where representatives from the communities can raise any concerns.
“We ask that those with concerns raise them via 101 or through this meeting, so we can listen and attempt to address these issues where possible.”
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RSPCA have issued advice about bringing dogs to the fair, with a warning not to bring them this year.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Rob Melloy said: “Dogs shouldn’t be brought to the fair at all; it is quite simply not a place for them.
"Horses can get 'spooked' by dogs and dogs can get trampled by horses.”
Keep up to date via www.applebyfair.org.uk or on Twitter @Applebyfair or Facebook at www.facebook.com/ApplebyHorseFair