Anger over car parking fines

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OLYMPIC torch celebrations were dampened after visitors to Wetherby were left in shock after receiving parking fines.

Around 12 vehicles at Wetherby’s biggest car park, The Wilderness, on the entrance to the town, received £50 fines for parking outside marked bays.

Nicholas Sparrow, who works for 02 at The White Rose Centre in South Leeds, had volunteered to be an Olympic torch ambassador for Leeds City Council, and along with his friend Haseeb Qureshi, were among those given fines.

Mr Sparrow said: “We were given special T-shirts and came down to pump up the atmosphere but this has totally dampened our spirits. It is just unbelievable.”

Haseeb Qureshi, a sales rep from Morley, said it was his first ever visit to Wetherby and he had been looking forward to seeing the torch celebrations in the town.

He told the News: “I was there to watch the torch and there was such a good vibe going on so I was very disappointed to get a fine.

“The car park was full when we got there and we parked outside the bays as did many people.

“I thought with the Olympic spirit and celebrations in Wetherby and this being a once in a lifetime event that they might let it slide a bit.”

The 26-year-old added that around a dozen others had also received the fines when he had got back to the car park after the celebrations.

“It was such a downer on what had been a nice day.”

“It hasn’t put me off coming to Wetherby again though, which seems like a really nice town.”

Mr Qureshi said he had rung the council and emailed them but had not as yet received a reply.

Coun Alan Lamb (Cons, Wetherby) said he would see if the fines could be overturned.

“I think on this occasion, although I cannot promise anything, it would be a real shame if people were given parking tickets.”

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: “Anyone who was issued with a parking ticket at Wilderness Car Park should get in touch with us using the contact details on the ticket, and we’ll look into their situation.”