Officials will decide in December if a free parking scheme, which was trialled in Northampton during August, should be extended.
Last month, Northampton Borough Council allowed drivers to park in a number of the town’s multi-storey car parks for free on Saturdays and for up to two hours during the week.
Figures released by the authority this week showed more than 30,000 drivers parked free for up to two hours during the trial and almost 18,000 more parked for free on Saturdays.
Because of the financial implications of the scheme, the council will not make a decision on whether or not to extend it until it sets its annual budget in December.
But the leader of the authority, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) said he believed the free parking trial had been a successful way to boost the town centre’s economy.
He added: “This summer we wanted people to come into our town centre to see what was on offer.
“Free parking has clearly been very popular with motorists, and will be among the topics set to be discussed at the town centre summit later this month.
“The next step now is to look at the success of the scheme to our local economy as we plan our budget in December and look at how we can support our town centre businesses.”
In total, the free parking scheme attracted 7,803 more cars to the town than were usually recorded in August, an increase of 21 per cent.
It is not yet known if the scheme could be extended to run in just August next year or throughout the whole year, but Councillor Mackintosh said such proposals would be looked at when the authority sets its budget.
Motorists can still park free in all the council’s car parks on Sundays and bank holidays, and for up to an hour in the Mayorhold, St John’s and St Michael’s multi-storey car parks all week.