Drivers will be paying more to park in Hertsmere as the council votes to increase charges.
Off street parking will increase from 50p to 70p for the first hour and on street parking will increase to 50p for the second half hour, while still keeping the first 30 minutes free.
This is expected to bring in £297,000 a year, £50,000 of which would be reinvested in resurfacing car parks.
The changes were agreed at an executive meeting at Hertsmere Borough Council’s offices in Borehamwood on Wednesday night.
The council will also spend £1.3 million on maintaining and upgrading council-owned car parks.
Councillor Jean Heywood, who is responsible for transport, said the increase in parking was a “small” one.
She said: “The new charges are far lower than current charges in neighbouring authorities. It is important that charges are not set too high so that drivers are not encouraged to park in an unsuitable environment.”
Leader of the council, Councillor Morris Bright, said it was reasonable to increase charges “as long as the price is right”.
He added increasing car parking charges, while keeping the first 30 minutes free, would actually benefit shopkeepers and other businesses on the high street.
He said: “It’s certainly true the initial free period generates a higher turnoaround from people who only need to do something quickly or don’t want to pay and discourages people from parking all day, so those who want to use the shops have to go somewhere else.”
He added Hertsmere Council had carried out a participatory budgeting exercise asking local people if they were happy to see an increase in parking in order to prevent other services being cut.
Cllr Bright said: “It’s important people don’t think we use car parking charges just to raise money for the authority.
“The increase will allow us to satisfy the desire for decent car parks and reflect increases in cost without being a burden on residents, shoppers and council tax payers who don’t want to subsidise parking.”
Speaking during the meeting, Labour opposition group leader Cllr Ann Harrison said the increase in charges was unfortunate but “inevitable” given the current financial situation.
She said: “There will be complaints from members of the public. It’s regrettable we have to put them up, I hope it doesn’t impact on local shops.”