• Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

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Preparations for Appleby Horse Fair underway

Preparations are being made across County Durham to accommodate Travellers and Gypsies heading to the 2016 Appleby Horse Fair.

The event has taken place for more than five centuries and this year’s runs from 2 to 8 June.

Temporary Stop Over Areas (TSOAs) are being set up in County Durham in preparation.

The seven designated TSOAs are being provided as part of a coordinated response through the Teesdale Residents and Travellers Forum in partnership with Durham County Council, local parish councils and Durham Constabulary.

Mike Taylor, chairman of the forum, said: “The members of the forum will liaise with Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary and local residents to try and ensure a seamless passage through Teesdale for the Travellers both going to and returning from the Appleby Fair.”

Sergeant Simon Rogers, of Barnard Castle Neighbourhood Police Team, added: “Some residents accept Travellers passing through the dale, but others have concerns about the potential for trespass and there can be feelings of unease about an influx of people passing through.

“Police and our partners will be monitoring the migration and supporting all communities.

“We are using Facebook again this year to provide a better flow of information to help reduce any possible concerns or tensions which may arise.

“In reality this is a diverse community happening and not a police public safety event.

“Our joined up approach means that in recent years we have experienced a relatively small number of incidents related directly to the Travellers.”

Updates will be provided on the team’s Facebook page: Barnard Castle Police.

It will also be posting on the event’s Facebook page: Appleby Horse Fair, the biggest and best in Europe.

Several areas have been used successfully as TSOAs for a number of years and are well situated along the traditional travelling routes to Appleby.

TSOAs for this year’s fair will be available at: Wackerfield layby, Barford Corner (on the A688 between Staindrop and Stainton Grove), Stainton Bank, Broomielaw, Shaw Bank field (on the A688 between Stainton Grove and Barnard Castle), and on grassed areas at Winston corner and Bowes corner.

The TSOAs will be open between 20 May and 17 June for travel to and from the event.

Temporary signposts will be in place while the TSOAs are open to direct Gypsies and Travellers and advise local residents and road users.

The council’s Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Service will make sure necessary facilities are available at all TSOAs, including temporary toilet facilities, refuse collections and, in some cases, water supply for animals.

Facilities are put in place to encourage use of the TSOAs over unauthorised encampment areas.

Officers from the GRT service and council neighbourhood wardens will also make regular visits to all the TSOAs, as well as visiting any encampments which are set up without authorisation.

Any members of the public wishing to speak to the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Service can call 03000 261 000.

By admin