AUTOMATIC number plate recognition could be introduced to Marlow’s car parks as early as April, the council has revealed.

Former Wycombe District Council leader Alex Collingwood confirmed the ANPR system will be rolled out across most council-run car parks in the spring or early summer if a High Wycombe trial is successful.

The system works by reading number plates as they enter and exit car-parks and automatically calculates how long vehicles have stayed.

Drivers can make payment by cash, credit card, via the internet or on their mobile phones, with the council hopeful parking tickets will become a thing of the past.

ANPR has been used in High Wycombe since last year, and will be introduced to all council-run car parks in Marlow except Dean Street if the council deem it a success.

Cllr Collingwood told business owners at this week’s Marlow Chamber of Commerce meeting that the move will be good for trade in Marlow.

He said: "We have found that because people pay at the end of their trip, they come more often and will stay for longer. More trip movements mean more footfall for traders and businesses.

"We are investigating the possibility of a grace period so people don’t have to pay if they are driving straight in and out."