WARNING: Why this road will be extremely busy as police issue desperate plea

APPEAL have been made to drivers on the A66 across three counties to take extra care as travellers and visitors make their way to the traditional Appleby horse fair. A horse died and three people were injured after a crash on Monday when a bow top van pulled by two horses; a box van and a pickup truck were involved in a collision at North Stainmore on the border between Cumbria and Durham. The three injured who were in the bow top were released from hospital after treatment.

They were on their way to the traditional fair which dates back 250 years and attracts thousands of people from the Gypsy, Romany and travelling communities from all over Europe and particularly from the north of England. Read more: BP garage at Washington Services on A1(M) charging more than GBP2 per litre  It officially starts on Thursday, June 9 and is expected to be especially busy over the weekend.

The A66 is one of the main routes into Appleby from North Yorkshire and Durham. Chief Superintendent Matt Kennerley, Gold Commander for Appleby Horse Fair from Cumbria Police said: “At this time of year we always urge drivers to be particularly careful on the county’s roads. “The likelihood of encountering slow-moving traffic is high so we must all be attentive behind the wheel.

“I urge people to take particular care on the A66, where fast-moving vehicles can come across slow-moving, often horse-drawn, vehicles and also the A685 in the vicinity of Kirkby Stephen, where there are caravans and horses by the side of the road. Read more: RECAP: A66 westbound near Brough closed after horse and caravan crash “Whilst we already have large numbers of officers in these areas, we have further increased our resourcing here, to reassure people and help keep everyone safe.

“By being aware of the potential dangers, we can all do our part to make sure everyone reaches their destination safely and without incident.” Concerns follow incidents on the A66 in the past, and every year there are appeals to make drivers more aware of slow-moving traffic and horse-drawn vehicles. “In 2006 a traveller from Durham was killed and his teenage son injured after a car collided with their horse-drawn caravan on the road as they were making their way to the Fair.

“The crash happened near North Stainmore in the same area as the latest incident. In 2003 a man and his six-year-old son, also from County Durham, who was in a traditional horse-drawn caravan were hit by a 28-tonne lorry near Appleby. The lorry driver was later jailed for four years for dangerous driving.

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