Safety measures in place ahead of horse fair this weekend
Measures are in place to ensure the roads remain safe as a horse fair returns this weekend.
The event has been held at a series of locations in recent years, with a private field off the A182 between Easington Village and South Hetton now hosting the ponies and their owners.
It started out as an August bank holiday festivity, but is also held during the first bank holiday of May, and was previously held in Horden, Easington, Blackhall and Seaham.
People have already started to arrive and are expected to remain until Monday afternoon, following on from a ‘trot’ where people will parade their horse and traps to Haswell and back.
Signs have been placed on the roads warning drivers of horse-drawn vehicles, while a 40mph limit is being enforced on the A182 South Hetton to Easington - which has a national speed limit - to slow traffic, with parking also ruled out.
Sergeant Paul Footes, of Easington Neighbourhood Policing Team, stressed the event is a privately organised fair, with Durham County Council and Durham Constabulary assisting the community to ensure it passes without inconvenience.
He said: “It’s been going on for a few years now and it is the same as events which happen around the county.
“Traffic management has been put in place to ensure everyone on the roads is kept safe and in order to let people know it will be in the area over the weekend and until it finishes on Monday.
“If anyone has any concerns they can come and speak to any members of my team or me directly.”
He added parish and county councillors across the area knew of the plans to help ensure residents and businesses were informed about the weekend’s event.
Ian Hoult, neighbourhood protection manager at the council, said: “We were recently made aware of the gathering on private land at South Hetton which follows a similar event last year.
“Although this is private land, we have been working closely with police around road safety issues to ensure there is minimum impact to local residents and the wider community when the trot takes place on Monday, and have implemented speed restrictions, signage and posts at the entrance to the site.”
The restrictions will be in place until Tuesday, but it is expected those joining in the fair will leave following the trot, which is due to run from noon until around 2pm on Monday.
It will go through South Hetton, down Salter’s Lane at Snippersgate Farm to Haswell and the Blue House Pub, where they are expected to give the horses a rest, before heading down the B1283 Durham Lane and back onto the A182.