Monday 2 October

People who shopped at Sheffield’s first IKEA store have been praised after a busy but very well managed first four days.

Following an appeal to use public transport if necessary, roads close to the IKEA store were busy and the store’s 900-space car park filled up on all four days, but overspill car parking was well-used and met demand.

And, despite two fire alarms leading to short evacuations from the store, the Swedish giant said it was delighted with its first historic weekend in the steel city.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport, said:

“Gridlock and traffic chaos on the scale of the Reading store opening was widely predicted, but Sheffield did us proud and this didn’t happen. So from a road perspective I was delighted with how our transport network coped with the extra vehicles on the highway. This was due to people planning their journey carefully and a good positive approach from our road traffic team.

“It is great to know that the fears that were expressed about the store’s location and general capacity issues around Meadowhall have proved to be unfounded. Of course, it’s early days, but the signs so far are very encouraging. It was still very busy on the highway network but we had no severe delay and congestion.

“This was also partly to do with our multi-agency traffic management plan and working closely with partners. We still know that we need to look at transport provision in the area and that’s why we are in the middle of a study looking at those capacity issues so that IKEA can continue to flourish here.”