Yesterday analysts were scrambling to change their Christmas shopping predictions after their crystal ball gazing around the so-called Panic Saturday proved very wrong. But this time it looks like they got it right as shoppers knocking off early for Christmas hit the stores with a vengeance.
Apparently, shoppers queued in their cars for over three hours today to leave the Bluewater mall in Kent. One person reported trying to leave at 16:00 and giving up. He tried again at 19:00 and was still there several hours later.
Having queued to leave Bluewater myself on several occasions I know how tough the road system around the mall can be. But I’ve never seen it that bad.
One problem is that traffic coming from many different parts of what is one of Britain’s biggest malls all filters into just a very few lanes at one point.
A Bluewater spokeswoman said the mall was aware of “traffic issues” and apologised. She said: “Our operations team is working with Kent Police to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Traffic is now flowing more freely and the congestion in the blue car park – the area worst affected is being cleared.”