Free car parking could be reintroduced to some East Lindsey car parks early in 2016.
At a full meeting of the district council, members backed a working group recommendation that is likely to affect a total of 13 sites.
The reasons for the change of heart are partly because income had been modest and partly because of the inconvenience caused to residents and emergency services as a result of motorists opting to park on-street rather than to pay a charge.
The proposal was applauded on Wednesday by Coun Fiona Martin and Coun Adam Grist, who felt the introduction of charges had been a bone of contention with traders whose businesses had been adversely affected.
A different perspective came from Coun Tony Howard who warned that ELDC would now look ‘doubly foolish’ to residents, firstly for introducing charges in the face of public opposition and now for reversing the decision.
“Having taken the initial reputational hit, we should have stuck to our guns,” he argued.
“To use the vernacular, we should have grown a pair.”
Meanwhile, Coun Terry Aldridge was disappointed that Sunday charges would still be widespread, noting that this was a problem for those attending services at St James in Louth where there is little free car parking within proximity of the church.
Removing the pay machines is likely to cost ELDC about £5,600, and there will be further costs of £4,500 relating to signage and administration, such as advertising car parking orders in the local press.
The recommendation is expected to be rubber-stamped at next month’s meeting of the executive board.
l For more news from the full council meeting see page 14.