Hundreds of shoppers became trapped in an Ikea multi-storey car park after roadworks outside the entrance blocked people in for more than three hours.
Furious motorists took to social media as they waited in their cars inside the gridlocked 1,000-space car park in Reading yesterday afternoon.
The megastore at Pincents Kiln Industrial Park in the Berkshire town has seen several similar traffic nightmares since it opened in July last year.
Furious motorists took to social media as they waited in their cars inside the gridlocked 1,000-space car park at the Ikea store in Reading yesterday afternoon
For some shoppers, the chaos on the back-to-school weekend at the Swedish retailer’s outlet in Berkshire seems to have been the final straw
But for some shoppers, the chaos on the back-to-school weekend at the Swedish retailer’s outlet seems to have been the final straw.
One customer, Carla Chappell, said: ‘Took us nearly three and a half hours to get out from level two, total joke. Staff were near on useless.
‘They only started moving when they actually started directing traffic. I did try the Ikea head office at one point, who said police were dealing with it. No they weren’t!’
Local resident Anne Lancaster added: ‘It’s happened so many times – always on a weekend afternoon. I’m not sure why nothing seems to have changed.
The megastore at Pincents Kiln Industrial Park in the Berkshire town has seen a number of similar traffic nightmares since it opened in July last year
Ikea customers took to Facebook yesterday to tell of their fury over problems at the car park
‘If you’re at all local I’d recommend going weekday evenings – it’s very quiet and open until 9pm I think. The Reading bus service is also a good option if you don’t have large, heavy things to pick up.’
Shortly after 6pm, Sophie Afriat Walters commented: ‘Finally made it home, having set off from Ikea before 1pm!’
As the problem was being dealt with in the afternoon, an Ikea spokesman told a customer: ‘There has been an accident on the roundabout near the Reading store, if this is the car park you are referring to.’
However, a spokesman from Thames Valley Police soon discredited this claim, saying no crash had been reported in the area all weekend.
Ikea customers also took to Twitter yesterday to tell of their disgust at being stuck for so long
Today, Ikea’s store manager at Reading (file picture) said the disruption followed the closure of one of the entrance lanes to the retail park due to road works
They said: ‘We have not had any reports of a crash. The report we had was that a member of the public rang and said they had been in the car park for more than 90 minutes and were wondering what was going on.’
The spokesman added that officers had attended the traffic jam, with the disruption taking place ‘in a private car park set on private land’.
Today, Ikea’s Reading store manager Johanna Heuren said: ‘The disruption followed the closure of one of the entrance lanes to the retail park due to road works.
‘This resulted in a bottleneck at the roundabout which caused severe delays on Pincent Lane and in our car park.
‘On this busy ‘Back to School’ weekend our team didn’t anticipate the consequence of the lane closure and responded as quickly as possible to try to rectify the situation. We would like to thank our customers for their patience.’
Shoppers have previously been trapped in the Ikea Reading car park in July 2016 and August 2016, as reported by MailOnline at the time.