Motorists could be allowed to park on double yellow lines for up to 15 minutes under plans mooted by the Conservatives.
Under the proposals drivers would be able to park free of charge for a short period while picking up goods from shops. They would also be able to leave their cars in bays for longer without being fined.
Parking and waiting on double yellow lines is currently prohibited for all vehicles. The only exceptions are vehicles that are making commercial deliveries and pick-ups, blue badge holders and the emergency services.
Some local authorities already allow motorists to park free of charge for up to 30 minutes close to shops and Conservative ministers in the coalition Government are to keen to extend that to help high streets.
According to the Daily Telegraph, sources close to communities secretary Eric Pickles said that “over-aggressive” parking enforcement was one of the reasons why so many shops were struggling.
The source said: "The High Street is in danger of shrinking or dying off, and over-aggressive parking enforcement is part of the reason why.
"If people are worried about paying a fortune in parking fines, it will make them more likely to do their shop online or go to out of town shopping centres. For too long parking has been a revenue raiser. It's time to end that.
"There is room for a deal [with the Liberal Democrats]. Dangerous parking is a menace to people, whereas if you're in the parking bay or just on the side of the road you're not presenting any risk."