Historic Kiplingcotes Derby: free shuttle bus between racecourse and Market Weighton
A PICTURESQUE Yorkshire Wolds town hopes to cash in on the oldest horse race in England.
The Kiplingcotes Derby, which has been held since 1519, will be run again on March 21.
The race's fame has attracted increasing visitors over recent years.
Growing problems with the number of people, parking and access meant it ran the risk of becoming a victim of its own success.
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East Riding Council has ruled the winning post road can no longer be accessed or used for parking by spectators.
Lay-bys will also be closed to prevent pedestrians walking on the busy A614.
To overcome this, the newly formed Market Weighton Town Team has stepped in to provide a free shuttle bus between the town centre and the racecourse from 10am to 3pm. It means racegoers will be encouraged to spend time in Market Weighton, visiting pubs, shops and cafés. There will also be free parking.
Sue Sissons, who owns ladies' clothes shop Cocos in Market Weighton, said: "People will be able to make a day out of it in Market Weighton.
"I think it's going to be an open-top bus so that could be really nice.
"People will be back in the town in the afternoon ready for something to eat and we've got about 28 independent shops for people to look around."
Councillor Peter Hemmerman, mayor of Market Weighton, said: "The race is not just an important event for Market Weighton.
"It is a tourist attraction that brings visitors from all over the country and that provides income to businesses in the area."
The bus will collect and drop off from the bus stops outside The Griffin Inn and outside Asda. The journey to and from the course is about ten minutes each way.
Horses will assemble near the winning post by noon before cantering out to the start at Kiplingcotes.
The race must be run before 2pm. The historic race will celebrate its 494th anniversary.
Its rules state if the race is not run one year, it must never be run again.
It had been feared rising health and safety costs were putting the event at risk.
Farmer Guy Stephenson, one of the two trustees of the race, said regulations had made the race increasingly expensive to organise.
This time, organisers faced a bill of almost £2,000 to hold the race, including a £200 insurance policy, £370 for the ambulance service and £50 to supply stewards with high-visibility jackets.
For the first time, temporary traffic lights will replace police stopping traffic on the A164.
The firm supplying the lights has agreed to cover the £1,200 cost for the facility this year. Market Weighton town council has also stepped in to help, providing £200 this year and setting aside £500 for next year's race.