Disgruntled runners were disappointed to see cars being given parking tickets while a 10k race was being held at a park.

Thousands of participants took part in the Watford 10k event at Cassiobury Park on Monday.

Entrants donned fancy dress and beat their personal best time in order to help raise money for Watford Mencap.

However, some people felt annoyed to see parked cars being ticketed in the residential streets surrounding the park due to the car park in Gade Avenue being full.

One concerned runner said parking restrictions should have been lifted while the park was being used for a worthy cause.

They said: “Kelly’s Watford 10k was a fantastic event where every single penny raised went to Watford Mencap.

“It was awful to see tens of runners being ticketed despite parking to donate and take part in this event.

“Parking restrictions should be lifted to allow people to enjoy their time off and the council should be encouraging the use of their parks for fundraising for small charities who serve the local community rather than penalising people who are doing such a good thing.”

Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor responded that parking restrictions are “essential” when the park is busy to ensure there is no disruption for people living nearby.

He said: “We worked closely with Watford Mencap to support their charity 10k run in Cassiobury Park on Bank Holiday Monday. I am delighted that this wonderful charity – which supports so many people in our town – was able to raise so much money from this successful fundraiser.

“Thousands of people visited Cassiobury Park on Bank Holiday Monday, including my family, and had a wonderful day out. Parking restrictions in nearby roads are essential – especially when the park is so busy – to keep traffic flowing and minimise disruption for residents and road-users alike. We have made sure that there are clear signs throughout the area explaining the parking restrictions.

“We are aware of the congestion in the streets around the park over the weekend. We will be reviewing the situation to see what improvements can be made.”

Head of fundraising at Watford Mencap added: “We are really grateful for the support that Watford Council gave us for the event and we did notify runners about the parking in advance.”