Council Promise Donation

18 July 2012, 11:12 | Updated: 18 July 2012, 11:26

St Albans District Council are promising to make a donation to Race For Life, after some of the people taking part in the charity event in St Albans were handed £70 parking fines.

Twenty four people who had parked on grass verges along St Albans' Bluehouse Hill were hit with the penalty notices on Sunday 15 July 2012.

After anger from many of these people, the Council say they will make a "suitable donation" to Cancer Research UK, to show their support, but they say they can't cancel the fines of people who parked illegally.

The Council only started enforcing parking restrictions on Bluehouse Hill on Monday 2 July.

Parking near St Albans' Verulamium Park was limited on the day of the Race For Life event, because waterlogging had put a car park out of use.  The Council say they had laid on extra parking elsewhere to compensate.

The families of Race For Life runners who were given parking fines have started a Facebook page, calling for the penalty notices to be cancelled, provided people handed the fines send in a donation the Council can forward on to Race For Life.

Here is the latest statement from St Albans City and District Council:

Mike Lovelady, Head of Legal, Democratic Services said:  “We had the support of local residents in putting the parking restrictions on Bluehouse Hill in place.  It is a dangerous road and the parking restrictions are there to help ensure no one gets hurt.  The damage caused by people parking on the district’s verges is also a major problem and one that tax payers are continually having to foot the bill to put right.
"There was plenty of free parking provided in St Albans on Sunday and people did not have to park on Bluehouse Hill.  We issued warning notices to people parking on Bluehouse Hill for several weeks before we started enforcing the restrictions on 2 July.  There are extra signs to say that the restrictions are being enforced and warning people that they risk incurring a parking ticket if they park there.
"We don’t like issuing parking tickets, and we don’t go out of our way to upset people.  But we are concerned that there could be an accident on Bluehouse Hill if people are manoeuvring on and off the verges in the face of fast moving traffic, and we need to stop people parking there.
“We cannot cancel parking notices that have been issued to enforce legal parking restrictions if people have parked illegally. However, it is not our intention to profit in this situation.  Our intention is simply to stop people parking dangerously and illegally on Bluehouse Hill.

"Therefore, as a gesture of good will, in addition to the considerable support we provided for the Race for Life, we will be making a suitable donation to the charity to show our support."