Free parking for the first hour and on special days are among changes under consideration as part of a review of parking in the district.
A new 50p one-hour tariff to encourage shoppers planning a short visit, increasing the number of 30-minute free spaces, and credit card or mobile phone payments are also among options being looked at as part of the Harborough Council review.
Councillors on a special cross-party task group set up to look at the issue met recently and have asked council officers to produce a detailed report. The group will then make recommendations to the ruling executive group.
Cllr Bill Liquorish, who chaired the task group, said any recommendations made must stack up financially.
He told the Mail: “We’ve asked officers to look at all aspects of the policy.
“They’re going to look at introducing free parking for the first hour or a new 50p tariff and see how it works out financially.
“There’s quite a revenue from car parking that helps the general budget and helps keeps council tax low.
“The land we use for car parking is valuable so we’ve got to get a return on it but there has to be a happy medium. We’ve got to attract customers to Harborough – it’s a lovely market town.”
Cllr Phil Knowles, who also sat on the panel, said: “It is important that we take this opportunity to look closely at the whole issue of car parks, from the possibility of stopping charging on bank holidays through to the whole charging structure.
“I believe we have to look at what can be done to encourage more people to come into Harborough, to support the special events.
“It is a chance to do something positive, possibly with the lower one hour 50p rate, to support our local businesses.”
The report revealed the most lucrative car park was the Commons, which made the council £206,000 in the financial year 2012/13.
The Sainsbury’s car park made £106,000 while Doddridge Road was third with £54,000. The council made a surplus on its car parks of £437,000 in 2012/13.
The detailed report being produced by officers, which will include the results of a survey looking at shopping patterns, is expected to be completed in about six weeks.