Police had to be called to the Bluewater Shopping Center in Kent yesterday, after the car park became gridlocked, leaving shoppers stuck for hours.
Influx of shoppers
The nightmare shopping trip began when Bluewater had a huge unexpected influx of shoppers all hitting the mall at a similar time. The 240 acres of car parking spaces came to a total standstill and some shoppers were stranded for up to 6 hours.
It was from around 4pm when cars started queuing to leave Bluewater and it lasted well into the evening. Many shoppers simply left their cars and headed back into the shopping centre to watch a film or have dinner, while other motorists sat in their vehicles (some were crying) and waited it out.
Many complained the layout of the car park meant there was only 1 exit lane which created the huge bottleneck. When staff realised the issue, they blocked the entrances to stop more shoppers arriving but wouldn’t turn those entrances into exits, which would have allowed more vehicles to leave.
Police then closed some of the roads surrounding Bluewater to allow the huge amount of traffic to leave.
A spokesman for Bluewater said that staff were aware of the traffic issues and they apologised to visitors.