Free parking is coming to Harrow in a move to deliver a boost to the local economy.
Conservative leader of the council Susan Hall made the announcement on Monday following months of debate with Labour and Independent Labour on how best to deliver free parking.
Opposition parties have been pushing a plan to bring 20 minutes free parking to Harrow since October last year, but a trial scheme in Rayners Lane showed that it could cost up to £1million annually – the equivalent of a one per cent rise in council tax, which is the season Tories shot the plans down.
Ms Hall said: "When we did this, we wanted to do it right. We had to come up with a system that people could use, but could not be abused."
The system, which will be rubber stamped by the Tory cabinet on Thursday next week and is hoped to be rolled out within the next four months, will give each motorist in Harrow 20 minutes free parking once a day.
After typing in their vehicle's registration number, they will then receive a ticket and not be able to get another one until the following day.
Harrow Council estimate that replacing machines for the new system across district centres will cost £436,000 while the loss in revenue from parking income will be £296,169.
Ms Hall said: "We have a responsibility to taxpayers to deliver services in a way that is sensible and affordable. Previous plans have just not been thought through."
Businesses across Harrow would have been disappointed that the plan did not come in time for Christmas, however Ms Hall has been consulting with officers for months on this plan which she claims is foolproof.
As for traders who were left waiting, Tory cabinet member for finance Councillor Tony Ferrari said: "Now they will have free parking for many Christmases."