MEMBERS of the public are questioning why police have not stopped an unauthorised event taking place on the A33 involving the traveller community racing horses and traps along the road.

The event is now in its second day, forcing police to close part of the road to keep people safe and causing ongoing disruption for drivers travelling on the road which goes between Basingstoke and Winchester.

Members of the traveller community began arriving before 6.30am this morning for the event, which yesterday lasted until around 4.30pm.

Posting on social media yesterday, Winchester Police said: “While we appreciate the inconvenience caused, road closure have been put in place in order to maintain road safety and prevent serious injury.”

However, members of the public questioned why police were not able to stop the event taking place.

Ryan Haines said: “How come members of the travelling community get preferential treatment and road closure without prosecution or being moved on?”

Sandra Johnson added: “Given this has been allowed to take place on this and previous occasions without intervention means the assumption is made by locals the law is not being broken and participants know they can get away with it.

“Police are outnumbered and put in a difficult situation as they have a responsibility to keep everyone safe. It’s a mess.

“Decisions over the tolerance of this activity have to be made much higher up. People adversely affected, who have concerns for other road user’s safety and those who object to horses being treated in this way should make their voices heard through their local politicians, their MP, senior police etc.”

Lee Headley questioned how his son can return home from Basingstoke to Winchester with his motorbike, when he is unable to use the motorway as a learner, asking why the police cannot “keep the roads clear for the law-abiding public”.

Winchester MP Steve Brine has also questioned Hampshire Constabulary’s chief constable about the event, saying: “Unauthorised activity is, clearly, unauthorised. The police need to be fair but firm and uphold the law for the majority. Our roads are not race-tracks. End of story.”

However, others praised the police for how they have handled the situation.

John Birkett said: “This is a very difficult situation for the police to deal with. For me, it’s the only way. Well done the police.”

The Gazette has asked the police why they are allowing the event to continue.