Improvements to ‘Flashing Lane’ completed in time for Appleby Horse Fair

30 May 2024

Improvement works on a stretch of the Long Marton Road in Appleby, known as ‘Flashing Lane’ have been completed, ahead of this year’s Horse Fair.

The work, undertaken following feedback from the community, is intended to improve safety for road users and pedestrians.

The improvement works include the removal of the damaged wooden fencing and installation of a newly constructed footway from the access to Fair Hill to the Rising Sun corner on the northeast side of the carriageway, with temporary pedestrian guardrails, installed for the duration of the Fair.

The new footway enables the safe separation of pedestrians on a secure footpath on one side of the lane and horses, tethered to the newly installed wooden posts on the opposite side. Accessible signage and barriers will be in place to ensure appropriate access. Police and the RSPCA will also be present to monitor compliance with the new arrangements. 

Chair of the Multi Agency Strategic Coordinating Group (MASCG) and Westmorland and Furness Council’s Director for Thriving Places, Steph Cordon, said: “Safety is a key focus for all partners in the MASCG. The existing fencing on ‘Flashing Lane’ was in a poor condition and no longer compliant with highway regulations. There had also been a number of requests from the local community for a footway to improve connectivity and provide a safer route for pedestrians.

“Plans were drawn-up and agreed by the MASCG, to ensure the full backing of all key Fair partners. We’ve already received positive feedback and the new arrangements seem to work well for road users and pedestrians.”

Gypsy and Traveller representative, Billy Welch, has welcomed the improvements saying, “We have been aware for a few years that the wooden barriers had reached the end of their useful life, and since the market field opened next to Long Marton Road there have been more and more pedestrians mixing with the fast horses. 

“The Highways Department have been concerned about the dangers and have come up with a good solution. A level footpath with temporary barriers, and a separation of pedestrians on one side and tethered horses on the other side, solves several problems at once. The Highways Department have managed to do it without reducing the width of the road, and we think it will work well. 

There are still some risks associated with fast horses, so we ask pedestrians to mind their backs and to keep off the road as far as possible, and we ask horse owners to use the new tethering lines and not to tie horses to the barriers.  We would like to thank the Westmorland and Furness Council for the time and trouble they have taken to improve safety for everyone.”