A supermarket is looking at the possibility of introducing automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) in its car park.
Waitrose has submitted plans for an ANPR camera for the car park at its Rushden branch in Crown Way.
It comes nearly a year after Rushden Lakes opened on the other side of the A45 at the former Skew Bridge site.
While there have been reports of people using Waitrose’s car park because they can’t find a space at Rushden Lakes, the store has not confirmed this or revealed further details about why it may introduce ANPR.
However, a spokesman for Waitrose said: “We are not making any changes at this time, however we have submitted a planning application for an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system to understand if this might be an option in the future to help us improve how we manage the car park.”
According to the British Parking Association, ANPR techonology is being used as more enforcement is becoming necessary both in ‘on street’ (public highways and local authority car parks) and ‘off street’ (unregulated private car parks) parking.
If ANPR is installed, CCTV style cameras are placed at the entrance and exit to a car park.
Timed photographs are taken of the vehicle entering and leaving the car park, and also close ups of the vehicle’s number plate.
The duration of the stay of the vehicle is calculated from the times registered on the two sets of photographs.
If a vehicle has exceeded the duration of stay either mentioned on the parking ticket or on car park signage, such as a maximum two-hour stay for customers only, then the driver of the vehicle will be required to pay an excess parking charge.
If a driver contravenes any of the terms and conditions laid out in the signage, the operator will access the DVLA’s vehicle keepers’ details database and send a charge certificate to them.
Waitrose’s application to install one new automatic number plate recognition camera in the car park of the Rushden store was discussed by Rushden Town Council’s planning consultative committee last month.
Councillors made no objection to the plans, and their comments will be passed on to East Northants Council.