Ikea sales traffic to be policed

Ikea store manager Scott Renshaw with PC Louise Hurst and PCSO Mike Chadwick.
Ikea store manager Scott Renshaw with PC Louise Hurst and PCSO Mike Chadwick.

Massive traffic delays caused by an influx of shoppers during Ikea’s busy sales weekends will be managed after the store agreed a deal with police.

Officers from West Yorkshire Police will direct traffic at the roundabout, near the store’s exit, at Birstall Shopping Park.

Drivers had been gridlocked for up to three hours at the roundabout during the store’s December and April sales in previous years.

Batley Neighbourhood Policing Team co-ordinator Martyn Lee said: “Ikea are paying to alleviate stress they are causing on the traffic network with their sales.

“It’s excellent because it will keep things moving and it means other retailers still get business, whereas before people just gave up and went back on the motorway.

“It’s good of Ikea that they have taken money out of their own pocket to manage it.”

As part of the deal police will dedicate one officer to patrol and direct traffic during the three-day sales weekends.

The sales run from December 26 to 29 and April 3 to 6.

Ikea store manager Scott Renshaw said: “We recognise the concerns regarding congestion surrounding the Birstall retail park and the Ikea Leeds store and together we are working with the local police to manage the traffic flow during our peak retail periods.

“We hope that this agreement will make it easier to travel to the area as we continue to investigate long-term solutions for the future.”

Police said the scheme was tested last December and it had a positive effect on traffic.