FRUSTRATED shoppers faced a ‘perfect storm’ of bad weather and congestion that left them queuing for hours to leave a retail park in Havant on Saturday.
Bumper-to-bumper traffic clogged Larchwood Avenue from 1pm to 3.30pm as drivers attempted to leave the retail park which includes an Asda supermarket and petrol station, as well as KFC and McDonald’s drive-throughs.
Congestion and heavy rain meant drivers struggled to join the roundabout at the junction of Purbrook Way and Hulbert Road.
Steve Matthews, store manager at the Asda, said he had been out attending to drivers as they faced ‘a perfect storm’ of problems on the road.
He said: ‘It’s the main roundabout that causes the problems – if you are trying to turn left towards Portsmouth, it’s quite difficult if there’s a car higher than yours to the right of you.
‘I have flagged this with the Highways teams at Hampshire County Council before.
‘They are still looking into it.’
The manager said several members of staff attended to those stuck in the traffic throughout the day.
Havant Borough Councillor Dianne Lloyd, chairman of the council’s operations and place shaping board, said the congestion left her stuck in the Asda car park for more than two hours.
She said: ‘It was not a good situation.
‘Hampshire County Council needs to look at the roundabout – it is not working well for that junction.
‘I logged it as an issue with them, and I will be personally following it up.’
She added: ‘Hats off to the people that were stuck in the traffic, because there were no incidents, even though it was a very unpleasant situation.’
Long queues to join the roundabout were a frequent occurrence, especially at weekends, according to one shopper.
July Belgrano, from Bedhampton, said: ‘It happens a lot.
‘Someone needs to look at how they could manage it better.
‘A couple of years ago, we waited more than half an hour to get out of the car park.
‘In the end we left the car here and came back for it a couple of hours later, it was so bad.’