A review has been ordered into parking arrangements following calls for rules to be relaxed to boost business.
Tan Dhillion, new owner of the Village Bookshop in High Road, Woodford Green, said the current charge of 30p for 15 minutes does not give his customers enough time and insisted parking should be free in order to attract shoppers into the area.
After gaining support from Woodford Green MP Iain Duncan Smith, he met council leader Keith Prince and Monkhams ward councillors Linda Huggett, Jim O’Shea and Michael Stark on Saturday to discuss the issue.
Cllr Prince ruled out unlimited free parking, but he did promise to ask town hall officers to look at what could be done to improve the situation.
He said: "Free parking for a certain amount of time is very difficult to police.
"I will be getting my officers to look into where we can put additional parking - perhaps turning some of the residents' bays into dual use spaces."
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Dhillon added: "I understand the council's constraints, but even 30p for 30 minutes is better than it is at the moment."