SHOPPERS could be forced to go elsewhere after a Dartford car park increased its charges by 200 per cent.

The car park outside Sainsbury's is rented to the Priory Centre by parking management company, APCOA.

Last week it trebled its prices for one hour's parking from 50p to £1.50 and increased two hours parking from 90p to £3.

Jim Clarke, of Harold Road, Hawley, was shocked to see the price hike when he went to pay for a ticket.

He said: "My wife shops regularly at Sainsbury's so she may change her shopping because of it.

"I believe it will cause less people to use Dartford as a shopping centre."

The 66-year-old added: "This just undermines what the council tries to do to improve the shopping in Dartford."

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said: “These parking increases have come as a complete surprise to us and Sainsbury’s was not consulted on them at all.

"We are now trying to get to the bottom of why this has happened and what we can do on behalf of our customers.”

A spokesman for APCOA and a spokesman for the Priory Centre chose not to comment.