Hundreds of drivers were trapped in a car park in Cardiff for up to three hours yesterday amid the Easter holiday chaos.
Some customers even chose to leave their car at St David’s Shopping Center and opt for a taxi home.
A spokesperson for the center claimed the disruption was due to heavy traffic outside and the “council-controlled traffic lights” not prioritizing the car park.
People took to Twitter to voice their concerns about the amount of time they were trapped, saying they left on foot to pick up food and water because of the immense queues.
There were reports of queues as early as 2:30 pm and by 4:00 pm some people had already been waiting for an hour to leave the car park.
Footage showed drivers stuck in a three-hour queue as they tried to leave the Cardiff car park
There were reports of queues as early as 2:30 PM and by 4:00 PM some people had already been waiting for an hour to leave the car park
But a video shot outside the parking lot seemed to show that the traffic wasn’t that busy.
It was not until 8:30 p.m. that the center’s spokesperson confirmed that the car park had been released and those who had left their vehicles could return to collect them.
A video was shared online of the chaos in the six-story parking garage, which has 2,000 spaces.
Drivers could be heard honking in frustration and a line of stationary cars could be seen.
The person taking the video moves across the parking lot to show the lines of cars waiting to move through, while the horn continues to beep.
None of the cars seem to move, and those that do can only crawl.
One person reportedly stuck in the center shared a video of the traffic outside on Twitter, writing: ‘@StDavidsCardiff how can you say the roads are stuck outside???
“I’ve been stuck on level 6 for 2 hours so far and still haven’t moved. I just went out to get supplies and these are the current roads…”
In response, the mall said: ‘Congestion has steadily eased, but traffic lights controlled by the council are still very slow to let traffic out of the car park.
“We have asked the municipality to change the lights to give priority to exiting the parking garage.”
Cardiff’s Tony Woolway told it wales online he had waited three hours to leave the parking lot.
“It was a stalemate. Nothing moved. We went 30 meters in two hours and we were on the sixth floor.’
A video shot outside the car park appeared to show that traffic was not that busy, despite claims that this was a reason for the queues
One person reportedly stuck in the center shared a video of the traffic outside on Twitter, writing: ‘@StDavidsCardiff how can you say the roads are stuck outside???’ In response, the mall said: ‘Congestion has steadily eased, but traffic lights controlled by the council are still letting traffic out of the car park very slowly’
He said he called the carp car park and was told the traffic jam was due to council-controlled traffic lights being red for too long, preventing people from getting out. He was advised to leave and come back later.
A 26-year-old woman told Wales Online she had arrived at 2.30pm and there was already a queue.
She said, “I thought, ‘Oh, that’s weird,’ but thought nothing of it.”
But when she returned to the parking lot at 7 p.m., there was a standoff “all the way up,” with horns honking and people standing outside their vehicles.
“There were people there with their kids in the car… it’s absolute chaos,” she added.
“They have security in the driveway that lets one person through at a time, but there must be hundreds of cars lined up.”
She eventually took the train back home to her family and decided to pick up the car on Easter Sunday, which the center had confirmed people would be able to do.
It comes after ‘nightmare’ Hours of queues in Dover and jammed motorways spelled disaster for holidaymakers leaving for Easter.
The RAC predicted that up to 17 million leisure car journeys would take place over the bank holiday weekend between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
BRISTOL: Passengers at Bristol Airport faced long queues at check-in counters
Good Friday expected to be the worst day of travel chaos yet as 17 million drivers hit the road for an Easter holiday
HEATHROW: Passengers at Heathrow’s Terminal 2 in West London on Thursday
According to travel organization Abta, an estimated two million Britons would go abroad, with Spain, Cyprus, Croatia, Italy, Greece and southern Turkey as favorite destinations.
There have already been reports of large queues at Bristol and Heathrow airports – the latter of which is partially affected by strike action.
Figures from aviation analysis company Cirium show that there are 10,218 flights scheduled from UK airports between Good Friday and Easter Monday.
P&O Ferries warned customers: ‘There are currently large queues at the entrance to Dover Port lasting at least 60 minutes.
“If possible, allow extra time on your journey and rest assured, should you miss your crossing, you’ll be on the next one.”
The company added: ‘The big queues are currently for our car passengers, but queues are now forming for coaches as well. This may not take that long.’
And last week, travelers saw Easter chaos on “Black Thursday” after French protesters launched another day of industrial action.
Flights were grounded and cross-Channel trains were canceled amid a nationwide strike and protests against President Emmanuel Macron raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 without a parliamentary vote.
Some flights to and from France and flights using French airspace were canceled amid industrial action to protest Macron’s pension reforms.
Protesters hold a banner reading ‘no to pension reform’ during a demonstration in Calais
Masked protesters in Rennes respond to tear gas during clashes at a demonstration as part of the 11th day of nationwide strikes and protests against the French government’s pension reform
Chaos erupted on both sides of the Channel as protesters halted traffic about a mile from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport early Thursday morning, forcing travelers to walk the rest of the way.
A spokesman for Paris Airports confirmed that “Terminal 1 is blocked by activists, as well as access to other areas.”
British Airways grounded about 20 flights alleged to have used French airspace as air traffic controllers join the union action.
Huge queues formed at the port of Dover and an early morning Eurostar train from Paris to London was canceled along with the associated return service.
The Port of Kent also warned travelers to wait ‘hours’ on Fridays and begged them not to show up early or without a reservation.
Meanwhile, the Foreign Office warned Britons making the trip to France to “ensure they have confirmed bookings and enough food and drink” of delays.
The accompaniment to the protests read: ‘Demonstrations can take place in France, often in major cities. If demonstrations turn violent, a heavy police/gendarmerie presence is to be expected.
“In all cases you should avoid demonstrations as much as possible and follow the advice of the local authorities.”