The final seal of approval was given to car park charge increases at a full meeting of Harborough District Council this week.
Fees will go up in Market Harborough and Lutterworth car parks, despite fears from local businesses and from 80 per cent of the public in a consultation.
The increases mean the cost for up to two hours in a short stay car park increases from 70p to £1; for up to four hours in a short stay car park from £1.70 to £2.50 and for more than four hours in a long stay car park from £2.20 to £4.
The new charges will come into force in April next year.
The charges were voted through by the council’s Conservative majority, with only one Conservative councillor voting against - Lutterworth’s Councillor Matthew Hammond.
Council leader Blake Pain said the new charges were a matter of financial competence in “really tough economic times” and insisted that the new prices “are not unreasonable”.
Opposition Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Phil Knowles had said the price hike could deter people from visiting the town, effect the footfall in town shops and have a big impact on people who worked in the town and had to pay car park fees every day.
“I really do question the timing of this” he said. “If we do see a decrease in footfall, shopkeepers will complain and the finger will be pointed at this council.”