Drivers stuck for hours in 'gridlock' queue in Cardiff city centre car park

Videos from inside the St David's car park show cars queuing all the way up the multi-story Credit: Media Wales

Hundreds of people were stuck for hours in a multi-storey car park yesterday, with some deciding to abandon their cars altogether.

It happened as people queued to leave the St David's car park in Cardiff city centre.

Some said it had taken more than three hours to reach the exit as the car park had come to a "standstill."

On social media, St David's said the delays had been caused by "the heavy congestion on the road the car park exits into" and the "council-controlled traffic lights" which it said were "still only letting traffic out of the car park very slowly".

They added that they "have asked the council to change the lights to prioritise letting people out of the car park" but not before people chose to leave their cars behind and get taxis or public transport home.

The queue was not visible from outside the car park Credit: Media Wales

Footage and pictures from inside showed queues stretching all the way up through the car park.

A 26-year-old woman who had travelled from Brighton to surprise her family in the Vale of Glamorgan said she had resorted to "getting the train back home to see my family and we'll come back tomorrow to pick up the car. Because we've seen people tweeting that they've been there for three hours...I don't particularly want to sit in the car for three hours."

She added she had seen a queue on her way in but had not thought much of it.

But by the time she arrived back at her car just before 7pm, there was "gridlock all the way up" the car park and people were beeping their horns and standing outside of their cars.

"We got to our car on level six and couldn't even back out of our spot," she said.

"I knew someone on level seven and they'd told me they'd been there for an hour. There were people there with their kids in the's absolute chaos. They've got security on the ramp letting one person through at a time, but there must be hundreds of cars all queuing.

"We walked past the exit to see if there was a traffic light issue, or an accident, and there was nothing. Traffic was moving fine...we couldn't see any reason why there was such an issue."

Another shopper said he only managed to get out of the car park after three hours.

He said: "It was gridlock. Nothing was moving. We went 30 yards in two hours and we were on the sixth floor. It was just clearing when we left after 3 hours. People were beeping their horns and many just left their cars and headed off to get food and drink to come back later on.

"We rang the car park number and was told it was down to the traffic lights staying on red for too long, blaming the council. They said the there was an unusual amount of people leaving at the same time which was unexpected and helped make the problem worse. They also advised that we leave and come back later."

South Wales Police said: "There is significant congestion around the Cardiff City Centre area this evening, particularly around the car parks close to the Motorpoint Arena. Efforts are being made to ease the congestion. Motorists are advised to allow extra time for their journeys."

St David's said on social media the traffic had been cleared by 8:30pm.