‘Thou shalt not travel to Ikea on a Saturday’ - Travel chaos for drivers trapped in car park for ‘four hours’

Motorists took to social media and online messages boards to vent their anger while stuck

Drivers say they were trapped in a car park for more than four hours as traffic was brought to a standstill outside Ikea’s Eastgate retail park on Saturday (January 21).

Many motorists spent the majority of their afternoon confined to their cars after what was supposed to be a short 15-minute journey. Some vented their frustrations from the confines of their cars on social media but were often met with insincerity for breaking one of Bristol’s 10 commandments - ‘thou shalt not travel to Ikea on a Saturday’.

Traffic is often brought to gridlock in and around the car park due to its proximity to Ikea, Tesco and routes in and out of the city. However, yesterday’s ordeal was one of the worst for some years, exacerbated by the road closure of Glenfrome Road over the railway line, sending cars bumper-to-bumper back to the M32 roundabout.

And bad news for motorists; the situation looked similar today at 1.30pm.

On Reddit, one person asked how the situation could have become so back, user Nezzzzy explained: “Each parking row feeds into one lane which then combines with the retail park and has lower priority. It then combines with Tesco and has lower priority, it then combines with the motorway roundabout and has lower priority.

You can help yourself slightly by parking as close to the exit as possible when you get there, or if you’re not buying anything big, park in the retail park or Tesco instead. But generally, it’s a designed car park on the back of a terribly designed road network.”

Google Traffic shows heavy traffic again this afternoon around the retail park - and the closure of Glenfrome Road

Eastville resident, Tom Stubbs was caught in the standstill after dropping his daughter off, a trip which cost him two hours of his time. Mr Stubbs told Bristol World: “I never normally go in there [Eastgate car park]. I live locally so I can cycle or walk. I just popped into the place to drop my daughter off, big mistake.

“I’m never going to drive there again. [The area] is so badly designed, three big draws for cars - Tesco, Ikea and Eastgate. Priority at the roundabout is given to Tesco traffic. We shouldn’t be building these car-focused places. [We need] more cycle infrastructure and encouragement.”