Motorists '˜trapped for hours' in Gunwharf Quays car park

SCORES of people have been left '˜trapped' for hours in an underground car park at a shopping centre.

Friday, 28th October 2016, 10:43 am
Updated Monday, 31st October 2016, 9:53 am
Gunwharf Quays

Families, such as Joy Williams’, have spoken of their frustration as roadworks left them trying to get out of the Gunwharf Quays car park for hours.

Pensioner Joy visited the centre to mark her 71st birthday on Tuesday with her family, including her four young grandchildren, ahead of her going into hospital for surgery.

She said the experience spoilt the day as it took three hours to get out, eventually seeing them ditch their cars and going back for food in the centre.

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Joy, from Hilsea, said: ‘There was no warning. People were sitting there with their cars running, filling the car park with fumes, and it didn’t move at all.

‘We were sat there for three hours waiting. People were getting out of their cars and copping the needle.

‘The man on the car park said it was because it was gridlocked outside, but we still don’t know as there’s been no official explanation.’

James Elliott, from Cosham, also experienced the traffic on Wednesday afternoon. He said that people were waiting more than an hour to get out of the car park.

There are a number of roadworks happening across the city that are thought to have compounded with an increase in visitors to the centre caused by half-term.

The Royal Navy is conducting work to Trafalgar Gate, which is forcing thousands of dockyard workers out of Unicorn Gate.

Colin Wilding, general manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘We are concerned to hear of these individual cases and are very sorry that visitors have been encountering delays in leaving our car park.

‘Planned roadworks in the surrounding area have caused delays across the city.

‘We are working closely with the council and taking every measure possible to ensure our customers are updated and advised on the congestion.

‘Our car park is permanently manned and our attendants will continue to support customers over the weekend.

‘We advise visitors to plan their journeys and make the most of park and ride services or public transport to avoid any further congestion.’

Deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council Luke Stubbs said: ‘We have only got the road network that we have got. If the Navy chose to undertake major work then there is very little that we can do. I hope they can complete these works as quickly as possible.’