Plans set to help beat weekend’s congestion

Thickthorn Farm Kenilworth,  where the Horse Fair takes place. 'Ref: 08SEP149
Thickthorn Farm Kenilworth, where the Horse Fair takes place. 'Ref: 08SEP149
  • Police and council officers have assured action will be taken to manage problems
  • The April event is due to be the busiest of the year
  • The weekend coincides with a junior rugby festival and St George’s Day events at the castle

Kenilworth is braced for a busy weekend as the town’s notorious horse fair heads to Thickthorn - and officials gear up to manage any problems.

The popular traveller and Gypsy fair attracts hundreds of visitors at each of its three events throughout the year.

Sunday’s event will coincide with St George’s Day celebrations at the castle and a junior rugby tournament at Kenilworth Rugby Club, leaving many fearing traffic chaos.

Last spring’s gathering left residents furious after traffic backed up through the town causing gridlock. Cars were abandoned on grass verges, roundabouts and in private driveways.

Complaints of anti-social behaviour also flooded in as several businesses closed their doors for the weekend and ponies and traps were raced up Warwick Road.

Confirming that measures are in place to tackle any problem, PC Trent McMurray said: “We are committed to working with the community and will make sure that the same level of police presence from previous fairs is repeated. April is the busiest fair of the three and we are very mindful of that for this weekend.”

April is the busiest fair of the three and we are very mindful of that for this weekend

PC Trent McMurray

Teams will also be brought in from Leamington and Warwick to deal with disruption.

Councils and police have worked with the landowner to prevent problems.

As the event is held on private land, all traffic management falls on fair organisers.

County councillor Alan Cockburn (Con, Ken) has repeated that the fair is being taken “very seriously” with plans in place across the agencies to manage the event.

He said that officers will be out to enforce parking regulations, and that anyone parking illegally will be towed.

Warwick District Council will also increase traffic warnings to try and keep the roads as clear as possible.

A council statement read: “Please understand that the two events will cause an unusually high level of traffic for the weekend.”