A PRIVATE parking firm has applied to install cameras to catch ticket dodgers at a Bournemouth supermarket.

Euro Car Parks Limited wants to install Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, one wall mounted and another on a four metre high column, in the car park of the Marks and Spencer food store at 58-60 Seamoor Road in Westbourne.

The cameras would be accompanied by nine new signs warning that payment is required to park.

The car park presently has a deal where tickets can be refunded in the store when other goods are purchased. Enforcement is carried out by a marked camera vehicle which is only rarely on site.

The application's planning statement, by Matt Bailey of Planning Sense, states: "The signs have been designed to be clearly visible to drivers using the car park, yet not overbearing

to the surroundings.

"Given the car park’s location to the rear of the shop, it is considered that the proposed signage and columns would preserve the character and appearance of the surrounding conservation area.

"The proposed signs and columns are set back from main highway and will therefore not contribute to the perceived clutter along this public route.

"It is therefore considered that the signage is appropriately located in design terms.

"The positioning of the signage has been chosen with vehicle and pedestrian safety in mind, whilst ensuring that users are fully aware of the parking restrictions applicable."

An international firm, Euro Car Parks has sparked controversy with its enforcement tactics in various parts of the UK.

In particular, those caught out have complained that signage has not been clear enough, although the firm has been known to initially send first offence warning letters to drivers on taking over a new car park site.

The infa-red ANPR cameras record the number plate of vehicles passing with a time stamp and are used by the police to track suspicious vehicles while investigating crimes.

They would be positioned at the entrance and exit of the car park site.