Goodbye Waitrose and thanks for all the coffee - ANPR sucks(March 08, 2018)
By Steve Dancey
(retired editor The Andover Advertiser)
WAITROSE in Warminster has applied to install Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at the entrance to its Station Road store - these will record the time and identity of all vehicles entering the site.
Former town and county counillor, Steve Dancey, said: "I shop at this store on a daily basis but if they take this sinister and unnecessary step here I won't be setting foot in this organisation's shops ever again - never mind the free coffee and all the other delights this shop affords..
"Bringing in such cameras can only mean that the partnership is looking to tighten its control of the parking regime here and in doing so they will further harm the vitality of the town centre.
"I welcomed the arrival of this store in this central location in 2012 as it is a destination store and I hoped that there would be some positive spin off for other traders if shoppers who parked at Waitrose also nipped into town to go shopping or on other business.
"There has been a degree of this but toughening the parking regime by installing cameras here will diminish this benefit and reduce the propensity of shoppers to head into town in addition to shopping in Waitrose. Shoppers will be scared of getting a ticket.
"ANPR cameras could even herald the arrival of charging in the car park though probably not just yet.
"Rather than introducing these spy cameras I would have thought Waitrose bosses should have concerned themselves first and foremost with public safety. Their entrance is posing a substantial risk to pedestrians in Station Road as some of the more arrogant Waitrose customers simply drive out without due regard to the fact that pedestrians on the pavement have right of way.
"In Westbury the Morrison's store opposite Angel Mill is faced with a similar problem, but there motorists are warned with large signs about their duty to give way to pedestrians.
"In Warminster there is a small sign in an inconspicuous position which the arrogant country drivers can't read.
"I can only assume that Morrison's cares more about pedestrians' safety that Waitrose."
My Waitrose card will be cut up and returned to Waitrose the day these cameras become a reality.