IKEA Reading has said it is making changes to its car park in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the traffic chaos that led to shoppers becoming trapped at the store for hours at a time.
Following the store’s grand opening in July, the multi-storey car park has become gridlocked on two separate occasions, leaving furious customers trapped for up to four hours.
The incidents in July and August saw staff handing out bottled water to those stuck in their cars. Thames Valley Police officers were also called to the scene.
However, following a consultation with a professional traffic consultant and West Berkshire Council, store bosses have agreed to amend directional signage in the car park, which they hope will improve the traffic flow.
IKEA says the new signs are currently being manufactured and will be installed shortly.
The store in Pincents Lane, Calcot, has also hired an external traffic management company who will assist and monitor the traffic flow in and out of the car park at peak times, such as weekends.
An IKEA spokesperson said: “IKEA has investigated the traffic flow at the IKEA Reading car park, along with a professional traffic consultant and West Berkshire Council.
“We have taken on board all the recommendations and we have also employed an additional external traffic management company.
“We will continue to monitor the traffic in and out of the car park at the IKEA Reading store.”
West Berkshire Council spokeswoman Peta Stoddart-Crompton said the problems were caused by “operational difficulties within the IKEA car park itself”.
She added: “As far as I’m aware the amendments to the signs are the last change for them to make.”