Electronic signs pointing drivers to car parks across Northampton are due to be installed across the town, at a cost of £200,000.
Plans for the parking signs were approved by Northampton Borough Council this week.
The council has not yet revealed where the signs will be or which car parks they will advertise, but they will tell drivers which ones in the town centre have spaces.
The council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Tim Hadland (Con, Old Duston) said the electronic signs would be particularly useful to tourists.
He said: “Our research has shown we need to make it easier for visitors to the town centre to find the most appropriate parking close to their destinations.
“This is particularly important for the new visitors who we wish to attract. New electronic signs will make this much easier.
“They will guide drivers to our car parks, provide information about where there are available spaces and when free parking is available.”
But opposition politicians at the Guildhall have hit out at the six-figure cost of the signs, claiming the money could be better spent elsewhere.
The leader of the opposition, Councillor Terry Wire (Lab, St James) said: “The Conservative leaders of the council claim money is tight, but this £200,000 could have been much better spent on frontline services.
“The car park signage is, at present, perfectly adequate.
“The car parks are very rarely full and the borough council should really concentrate on trying to fill them rather than trying to direct people to them.
“Spending this money on new signs is a waste.”
At the end of 2011, the council came under fire from the public for selling off two town centre car parks to developers. The authority said it was acceptable to sell the St John’s open air car park site for the development of student flats and part of the nearby Albion Place car park for the development of a hotel, because car parks across the town were never completely full.
At the time, they suggested Northampton town centre had 1,729 more parking spaces than were needed, even at the most busy times.
Plans for the electronic car park signs were passed as part of the council’s budget earlier this week.
Other proposals which were also approved by the authority will see a new cafe and toilet block built at the town’s skatepark on Midsummer Meadow at a cost of £150,000.
Northampton Borough Council has approved plans to spend £200,000 on electronic signs to direct drivers to vacant spaces in the town’s car parks.
But in 2011, when the council was proposing the sale of two car parks, officials at the Guildhall claimed they were never full.
Refering to data collected in 2009, the council said that during a normal weekday, only 2,660 of the town’s 5,315 spaces were used.
At weekends, the figure rose to 2,800 of the spaces being used.
During the peak shopping period of December, only 2,880 of the town’s parking spaces were used during the week and 3,521 at weekends.