Charlton has recently seen the opening of a new Ikea, in replace of a Sainsburys that was demolished last year, in February and the vast numbers of people visiting the shop has caused severe delays and concerns among local residents.

Development of the new Ikea, at 55-57 Bugsby Road, East Greenwich, has also led to the construction of a new car park, with enough space for 1017 cars. This new system is free for five hours, without needing to make a purchase, and given the size of the car park, it is perhaps surprising that there have been complaints from many people online in the past few weeks. However, many have complained as their journeys along the lower road have been delayed due to this congestion, which is not helped due to the nearby Blackwall Tunnel.

Many bus routes have been affected by this and concerns over how traffic will be managed in the event of an accident have also been raised. Another potential problem, pointed out by many people, is the lead up to Christmas, and what impact that will have on the local area.

The new Ikea may also have an impact on other shops in the area, which is known for the retail parks as well as an Odeon cinema and B&Q on the same road. There are worries that these places will be affected due to the traffic and possible customers may not be able to reach the shops, or simply give up as the waiting time will be too long.  

All of these problems however, may be put down to it being the shop’s first few opening weeks and it is likely that the traffic will become more manageable as the novelty of the Ikea wears off and the council learns how to manage the demands. It seems that only time will tell.