COUNCIL bosses have come under fire after hitting people running the Great North Run with parking tickets.
Traffic wardens from Newcastle City Council handed out 22 tickets to cars parked near the beginning of the race in Spital Tongues, Newcastle, on Sunday.
Council leaders were last night accused of being “greedy” for fining motorists who had travelled to support the biggest charity event in the North East.
Last night, the council said that it had to issue tickets but would consider appeals from any of the motorists concerned.
Peter Hickson, 69, who watched the start of the race, said he saw dozens of cars being fined in Ancrum Street, close to where he lives.
The pensioner said: “I think it’s disgraceful that the council has chosen to fine people when they’re out supporting one of the biggest and best charity events in the region.
“The event raises so much money for good causes and it seems the council are only bothered about making money themselves from fining cars. It’s just greedy.
“I think the council are guilty of not acting within the spirit of the event. It’s only one day of the year, surely they could let people off given the circumstances.”
Newcastle City Council said illegal parking was common in Spital Tongues, with traffic officers handing out 14 parking tickets on the Thursday before the race, and eight on Friday.
Many local residents requested parking control in the area because of people leaving their cars to go to St James’ Park and the RVI hospital nearby.
Craig Mordue, Newcastle City Council’s Head of Parking Services, said: “The City Council recognises that the Great North Run is an important event in the North East’s sporting calendar and we are grateful of the financial support runners provide to many local charities.
“For an event of this size to take place it is important that traffic is managed carefully which helps reduce congestion and maintain safety for participants and spectators. We will of course give any appeal careful and full consideration in line with our parking policies.”