Bikers taking part in the annual toy run will have police support this year, following persistent cajoling from its supporters.
Lincolnshire Police took a step back from assisting the community event at Easter last year, citing resources and legislation changes. For 22 years previously, officers had stopped traffic at junctions along the way to ensure safe passage for bikers.
Now, following complaints from organiser John Bartlett and Mayor of Grantham Ian Selby, the force has agreed to marshall the toy run and next year’s Easter egg run.
Mr Bartlett organises the annual runs, which see bikers travel to Bottesford from across the country to gether before delivering Christmas presents or Easter eggs to The Meres Leisure Centre in Grantham. From there, members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church deliver them to disadvantaged children.
He said: “We’ve had so much hassle trying to get this police support. They’re now sending two cars and should be helping us at the junctions, particularly getting out of Bottesford and on to the A52.
“It was terrible at Easter. A journey that should have taken us half-an-hour took us an hour and a half. It gridlocked the town as well, and we don’t want that.”
Coun Selby played an instrumental part in getting police backing reinstated. He said: “I’ve been asking for months and months for police support to get the bikers from A to B. It’s a community supported event and it’s only right that police support such an event.
“They’re fantastic, those bikers, and they bring all sorts of gifts. If we can’t give them a bit of safety, it’s a bad job.”