MOTORISTS are being urged to be patient with travellers using the region's roads to reach one of the country's biggest horse fairs.

Thousands of travellers - many using traditional horse-drawn Romany caravans - have started to pass through the North-East and North Yorkshire as they make their way to Appleby Horse Fair, which takes place in Cumbria from June 2 to 8.

And as this picture - taken yesterday on the A66 near Scotch Corner, North Yorkshire - demonstrates, their pace can cause long tailbacks.

Police in County Durham are appealing to drivers to show patience

Inspector Martin Peace, of Bishop Auckland police, said: "This is a seasonal problem and one we are prepared for.

"The A688 and A66 are always well-used routes by travellers heading to Appleby Fair so traffic does get slowed down.

"But they have every right to be on the roads and in the most part are considerate to cars.

"I would ask all drivers to take a little extra caution and be patient."