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Chaos at IKEA Reading caused by sheer volume of traffic, police say

Shoppers trapped for hours as gridlock hits multi-storey car park

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

Email:

chris.ord@newburynews.co.uk

Chaos at IKEA Reading as shoppers trapped for three hours

THE sheer number of shoppers at IKEA Reading yesterday (Sunday) caused chaos in the store's car park as customers were trapped in their vehicles for hours.

Some shoppers were stuck for more than three hours as the store's car park became gridlocked during its opening weekend.

Staff at the UK's newest IKEA in Pincents Lane, Calcot took to handing out drinks to those stuck in their cars, while some people decided to abandon their vehicles.

The situation became so serious that police were called to the scene by desperate shoppers who were trapped between 1pm and 4pm.

Officers helped manage the traffic situation and offered advice to management, although a police spokesperson said it was IKEA's responsibility to manage the flow of traffic on site.

The store, which has only been open since Thursday, was forced to close the car park for a time to allow the back log of traffic to leave.

IKEA has blamed an accident on the M4 for exacerbating the situation, however Thames Valley Police say they have no incident recorded.

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson said: "IKEA is responsible for the traffic management on and around the site and for the safety of customers in the car park as it is private property.

"Police attended to speak with IKEA management and give advice due to the impact on the local road network.

"Local officers also assisted with traffic on A4 and other nearby roads, however police have limited powers to direct traffic on the highway in the absence of an emergency or a traffic regulation order.

"The traffic regulation is the responsibility of IKEA and the car park is private property therefore also IKEA's responsibility."

Angry shoppers took to social media to vent their frustration as they sat stationary in their cars.

Some endured the chaos, thankful for the drinks from staff, while others chose to abandon their vehicles until the jam had cleared.

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Article comments

  • Littlegos

    18/07/2016 - 17:05

    If they were stupid enough to go on the first Sunday what did they thing was going to happen?

    Reply

  • Lionel

    18/07/2016 - 14:02

    Ha, could have told the council months ago, the road layout is terrible, road markings are terrible. There is not enough capacity in the roads to cater for the extra traffic. But I gave up telling the council stufff they don't want to hear (la la fingers in ears) as 'they seem to know better' lol. Stay away from Ikea Reading and in general J12 of the M4.

    Reply

  • Louise

    Louise

    18/07/2016 - 11:11

    I recall Store Manager saying they were deploying 40 Traffic Guards to stop congestion on surrounding roads- obviously not effective in their own car park!

    Reply

  • Bombey

    18/07/2016 - 10:10

    Yes abandoning your car for 2 hours really helped the situation....but who cares eh.....I'm alright Jack....

    Reply

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