Monthly journal Parking Review has been the definitive source of news and intelligence on the UK and international public and private parking sectors since 1989.

Rapid growth in ANPR usage on private land

Churchill Insurance investigates growth in camera enforcement

Mark Moran
13 November 2020

A growing number of private car park operators are installing automatic number plate recognition cameras  (ANPR), research by a motor insurer suggests.

The number of planning applications to install ANPR cameras in car parks has increased by 61% over the past two years, according to Churchill Car Insurance.

ANPR cameras are being increasingly found at supermarkets, retail estates, fast food restaurants, hospitals and transport hubs such as train stations. 

The research also found that between 2017 and 2019, the number of retrospective planning applications (made after an ANPR camera had been installed) increased by 106%.

Some 29% of all planning applications between 2017 and 2019 were retrospective.  The research found that between 2017 and 2019, local councils rejected just 6% of retrospective planning applications for ANPR cameras.

Some drivers have sought to challenge the legality of parking charge notices issued after being caught by an ANPR camera when planning permission had not been granted.

However the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service said: “The absence of planning permission would not affect the motorist's ability to understand and keep to the parking conditions. The motorist would still have entered into a parking contract.”

Some 9.8m drivers, in non-council operated car parks, are caught on ANPR cameras and issued parking tickets each year, the data claims.

Motorists paid fees totalling an estimated £1.07bn after being caught by ANPR parking cameras. The average penalty currently stands at £68.90.

Overstaying the allotted timeslot was the most common reason drivers received ANPR based parking penalties, with 3.4m drivers (23%).

This was followed by 2.4m people (16%) who did not realise they were required to pay for the parking and thought it was always free and 1.7m (12%) who said that they received the penalty because the ANPR camera was faulty.

Main reasons for ANPR charges

Number of UK adults
Over-staying the allotted time slot
Not knowing they needed to pay for parking and thinking it had always been free
It being a fault of the car park e.g. a faulty camera or no parking restriction signs
Parking in the car park multiple times over 24 hours and the camera registering the last exit, so it looked like they had overstayed when they hadn't
Registering the vehicle registration incorrectly
Driving in and out of the car park quickly and not parking but the camera registering the vehicle as not having purchased a ticket
Not registering the vehicle registration number at all
The vehicle number plate not being clean or visible
Not knowing they needed to pay for parking and thinking it was free as everything was shutdown due to COVID-19
Source: Churchill Car Insuranc


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