Hove MP Mike Weatherley has written to councillors urging them to adopt a “common sense approach” to parking.
The Conservative MP said that excessive parking charges had hurt businesses in Brighton and Hove.
But a leading Green councillor said that some of the charges were cheaper than when Brighton and Hove City Council was run by the Tories.
Councillor Ian Davey, the Greens’ transport spokesman, said that the quality of a shopping area was more important than the cost of parking when people chose where to shop.
Mr Weatherley cited a new report called Re-think! Parking on the High Street. It calls on councils and private car park owners to make it easier for drivers to use shopping streets.
Mr Weatherley said: “Parking charges in Brighton and Hove have been raised to ludicrous levels since the Green administration took over running Brighton and Hove City Council to the detriment of local businesses across the city.
“This report has highlighted the problem across the country that when you charge too much to park, shoppers are put off.
“I have recently written to the council over stringent parking rules that mean customers are not able just to pop into a shop for five minutes.
“A common-sense approach is desperately needed.”
Councillor Davey, chairman of the council’s Transport Committee, said: “In fact the report argues that there isn’t a direct relationship between the cost of parking and the quality of a shopping area.
“And it is the quality that has a greater impact upon people’s decision whether to shop somewhere or not.
“Parking is being managed carefully in the city and as part of this work we have introduced new tariffs such as £1 for one hour during the week, a £4.50 evening rate and an overnight rate of £8 to £10 in our city centre car parks.”
He said that all those charges were cheaper than the prices charged by the previous Conservative administration.
Councillor Davey added: “Perhaps Mr Weatherley would be better off focusing his energies on changing his government’s disastrous economic policies that are leading this country into an unprecedented triple-dip recession, reducing the amount of cash in people’s pockets that they are able spend in local shops.”