Traders in Lutterworth have called for Harborough Council to consider giving shoppers two hours of free parking as part of a policy review.
Visitors to the town currently benefit from one hour’s free parking – a policy which is one of a number of options being considered for Market Harborough as part of the review.
Introducing credit card or mobile phone payments, and having free parking on special event days in the run-up to Christmas or on bank holidays are also being looked at by a cross-party task group.
But Ken Seymour, owner of The Fox Inn in Lutterworth, said he would like to see an extra hour’s free parking in the town.
He said: “An extra hour would be most beneficial for Lutterworth.
“Retail operations are trying very hard. There are some quite unique operations in Lutterworth and anything that attracts shoppers to here is most welcome.”
Other firms have also echoed this view and say it is needed to keep Lutterworth competitive against Market Harborough.
Lutterworth fought the introduction of parking fees in 2004, with the town’s chamber of trade submitting a 5,000-signature petition to the council. The one-hour free parking concession was designed to boost town centre trade.
Sara Lovatt , of Antidote Art Gallery, in High Street, said: “Car parking charges are always contentious.
“It’s a big conversation in the gallery with our clients because quite often an hour isn’t enough but I appreciate there have to be some fees.”
The council’s cross-party task group has asked council officers to produce a detailed report before it makes recommendations to the ruling executive group.
Cllr Bill Liquorish, of Broughton Astley, who chairs the task group, said any recommendations made must stack up financially.