Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 11:28 UK

Road warning ahead of horse fair

Travellers en-route to Appleby
Thousands of travellers head to Appleby each year

Motorists in Cumbria and County Durham are being urged to take extra care ahead of the annual Appleby Horse Fair.

The festival begins on 4 June, but travellers - some driving horse-drawn carriages - traditionally begin to arrive in the area from late May.

Warning signs are being erected on the A66 and on the A1 approaches to the Scotch Corner interchange.

In recent years there have been several crashes, some of them fatal, involving traffic heading to and from the fair.

The week-long event in Cumbria is the largest horse fair in Europe, attracting more than 30,000 visitors, including up to 1,400 caravans and horse drawn vehicles.

In addition, there will be increased patrols on the A66 by the police and Highways Agency Traffic Officers.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "Horse drawn vehicles are particularly vulnerable and motorists need to take special care during the fair period.

"The message to horse drawn vehicle owners is simple - be safe be seen."

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