Shropshire Star

Number plate camera at shopping centre's car park being put back after first one was knocked over

A number plate camera installed in a neighbourhood shopping centre's car park is being put back into place after being found knocked to the ground.

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The owner/managers of the Telford Estate Shopping Centre off Conway Drive, Shrewsbury, installed cameras about a month ago to stop parkers swamping the free spaces there, denying them to shoppers.

One of the cameras was recently found in a horizontal position with the base damaged, but the owners Marshall & Marshall Limited don't know whether it was a criminal act or someone driving into it.

It was being put back up this week by the contracted parking company with no real damage, but protection is being planned.

A spokesman for Marshall & Marshall, based at College Hill in the town said that a report has not been filed with the police.

Craig Henn, Marshall & Marshall's commercial property director, said: "We don't know if it was deliberate or someone just hit it.

"We have had other incidents when people have driven into buildings and other things, so it could have been one of those. There will have to be some better protection for them."

Mr Henn said the number plate recognition cameras were installed after owners of the 10 thriving businesses there complained that people were parking in the car park all day and customers could not get to them.

"By 9am some days between 40 and 50 spaces - the majority of them - were filled up. Customers were telling the businesses that they could not park. We had to do something, and since the cameras were installed it seems to have got better."

Mr Henn added that all the shop units at the neighbourhood shopping centre are filled. There are also flats above and the residents can park there. Others still have two hours' free parking.

Among the businesses serving the estate are a Spar shop, a beautician, a Severn Hospice charity shop, a deli, an ink cartridge retailer, a pharmacy, a Chinese and a chip shop.

"Ron's barbershop has been there over 30 years," said Mr Henn, of the company that has owned and managed the site for about 40 years.