Travellers in horse and traps race each other on busy A-road

Dozens of travellers have been gathering at the West Witney roundabout and racing the horses down a stretch of the A40 surrounded by cars.

The sport, which is popular among the travelling community, has been happening every Saturday morning since January.

Witney councillor Thomas Ashby, who represents residents on the Windrush Place estate, said: “It has been concerning the number of people gathering around Windrush Place and the roundabouts near by. 

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“Reports of horse and carts racing along the Downs Road and A40 is disturbing. 

“These are busy roads and racing on these main roads is incredibly dangerous for all parties involved. 

“There have been a series of trap races along the A40 since at least January with varied police intervention. 

“It was only this weekend after being reported by myself that this and horse trading was being carried out that a good police presence showed up.”

Oxford Mail: Travellers have been racing each other along the A40 Travellers have been racing each other along the A40 (Image: Thomas Ashby)

Travellers have also been gathering in Windrush Place and on the roundabout at the bottom of the Downs Road, trading horses.

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: “We are aware of recent concerns around pony and trap racing on the A40 near Witney.

“We have been working with our partners to prevent any anti-social behaviour or offending.

“On Saturday April 13, we enacted a Section 35 dispersal order to try to prevent the gathering, which had taken place the previous Saturday.

Oxford Mail: Travellers gather near A40

“The gathering went ahead but officers in attendance moved the group along.

“While we understand the concerns around this type of event, pony and trap racing is not illegal so our response must be proportionate.

“Anyone with concerns or information should call 101 or make a report on our website.”

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