Nightmare Before Christmas for Shoppers
Written by Duncan Martin on December 23, 2015
Christmas shoppers were stranded for up to six hours after heavy traffic blocked the car park exits at Bluewater shopping centre. Police were called to help clear the backlog when a broken-down vehicle and high visitor numbers caused traffic chaos at the centre on Monday.
The sheer volume of shoppers left exit roads struggling to cope.
Visitors expressed their frustration on social media, posting pictures of the lines of traffic attempting to leave the car parks.
Picture: Twitter user
Kent police said officers had directed traffic to help clear the backlog.
A spokeswoman for Bluewater said it worked hard to keep traffic to a minimum. She said: “While the traffic in surrounding areas is out of Bluewater’s control, we have a dedicated team who work closely with organisations such as Kent police and Highways England, to minimise traffic congestion at peak times.
“This includes deploying additional hosts in our car parks to help guests find spaces, as well as implementing traffic controls on surrounding roads. In addition, our extended opening hours provide guests with the greatest possible amount of time to visit.”
Meanwhile, there have been long queues into and out of the shopping centre all this week, during the last minute rush before Christmas. Wednesday lunchtime is expected to see the busiest crowds.