Hull horse fair routes 'will be mapped' after travellers' 'chaos'
MOVES are under way to map out pre-agreed routes for travellers to stage horse fairs in Hull.
It follows controversial scenes last September when police were forced to suddenly close several streets in west Hull after travellers descended on Hawthorn Avenue to race dozens of horses and carts.
At the time, some residents living in the area claimed police had advised them to stay in their homes for their own safety.
Similar scenes were also witnessed in Endike Lane, north Hull, earlier last year when one trailer broke loose and narrowly missed three young children and an elderly woman standing on a pavement.
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Hull divisional commander Chief Superintendent Rick Proctor said the police had reviewed their response to horse fairs staged by travellers following last year's events.
He said: "What happened last year, particularly in Endikie Lane, was absolute chaos.
"The impact on public safety was clear for all to see with people weaving across the dual carriageway, posing a real risk to the public.
"The problem we face is preventing something similar happening again.
"It is a very difficult situation because of the very nature of the people who tend to gather for these events
"It can be difficult to pinpoint who they are and where they might be coming from.
"There is legislation available to set conditions for a preferred route that can be agreed in advance.
"We are currently looking at that option because it will allow us to manage it and keep people safe.
"If we just chose to move them on, the problem just goes somewhere else.
"Trying to ban it or block it would be very difficult to do."
Speaking at a city council scrutiny meeting, Chief Supt Proctor said officers were studying how more long-established travellers' horse fairs were managed in Seamer, North Yorkshire, and Appleby in Cumbria.
"We are looking at best practice around the country to see if we can learn from that here in Hull," he said.
Councillor Joyce Korzak- Fields, who witnessed the events in Endike Lane, said: "It was minor miracle no one was killed when the trailer broke loose.
"The mounted police who were on duty that day were invaluable.
"Without their actions there could have been a fatality."