GYPSIES and Travellers heading to Appleby Horse Fair with towed caravans are being asked not to arrive too early, as the number of stopping places has fallen.

The advice has come from Cumbria Police and the Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG), which works to make the fair safer each year.

Gypsy and Traveller representative Billy Welch, a member of MASCG, said: “Each year we ask people not to arrive too soon to the fair and each year the response from Gypsies and Travellers is positive.

"Those people travelling across with bow-tops obviously have no option but to set off early but I would ask those with towed caravans not to come too soon, particularly with the loss of some important stopping places in recent years such as Makepeace’s Field near Alston.”

Those heading to the fair are being advised that parts of the A685 identified as particularly unsafe for stopping will be clearly marked and strictly enforced, including horse-drawn vehicles.

Those who ignore the markings risk a court summons or fixed penalty, and vehicles may be removed by recovery vehicles.

Chief superintendent Rob O’Connor, of Cumbria Police, said: “For the police, our number one priority is always the safety of everyone involved.

"If we have large numbers of Gypsies and Travellers arriving too soon, it risks creating problems on the road network and putting at risk all road users.

“I would ask people to please heed this advice in order to keep themselves and others safe in the lead up to this year’s fair.”

Landowners who think they may have suitable land for new stopping places are asked to contact Eden District Council.

For more about Appleby Horse Fair 2019, visit, see the MASCG for Appleby Fair Facebook page or follow @ApplebyFair on Twitter.

A list of stopping places can be found at