COUNCIL bosses have performed a U-turn - thanks to The Star - on a decision to penalise charity runners with parking fines.
Sheffield Council initially insisted the fines would stand - but has now announced fundraisers who were issued with fixed penalty notices after taking part in Weston Park’s Run in the Park will not now be forced to cough up.
Instead, the council suggested motorists whose fines had been quashed might donate the same sum to Weston Park cancer hospital.
Several motorists returned to their cars following the event at Graves Park on Sunday to find they had been issued with £70 tickets.
But, after pressure was put on the council to waive the charges, it has agreed to cancel them as a ‘gesture of goodwill’.
Trevor Taylor was one of numerous Run in the Park participants who wrote to bosses voicing his disgust.
Trevor, of Tickhill, Doncaster, said: “It’s great news - and I think it’s down to people power. I really hope the council learn a lesson from this.
“They should have realised there would be a lot of emotions for people supporting the event on the day. If they’d have made people pay I’d have campaigned for them to give the money to charity.”
Runner Keel Gibson, 33, of Westfield, Sheffield, whose mum Gloria Drew died of cancer in 2009, also appealed the decision after he was fined.
He said: “I found it quite insulting.”
The council has now promised to work on parking arrangements for the annual race with organisers from Weston Park Hospital, to prevent similar problems in future years.
Coun Leigh Bramall said: “We hope this gesture will be recognised, and we would welcome those who have had fines quashed donating to Weston Park Hospital the amount they would have paid.”
He added: “We will cancel the tickets this time but that does not excuse people from parking illegally or causing an obstruction.
“Our parking enforcement officers issued around 12 penalty tickets on streets around Graves Park on Sunday morning after we were contacted by residents.
“Residents around the park have the right not to be inconvenienced by people using the park and were grateful for our intervention.
“We received complaints that cars were parked on grass verges where there were double yellow lines, affecting the visibility of residents wanting to leave their driveways and causing a safety hazard. Others were completely blocking the footways, or affecting the flow of traffic up and down the road.”