Valley Park shoppers ‘trapped’ without help on Bank Holiday

A two-car collision on the Purley Way left hundreds of Bank Holiday shoppers at Valley Park frustrated and angry, as they were stuck in the shopping and leisure centre’s car park for hours.

Traffic congestion on the Purley Way: TfL's got a scheme to speed cars on their way towards Croydon's shopping centre

A typical Bank Holiday on the Purley Way

It is the second time this year that shoppers at Valley Park have found themselves unable to exit the congested car park readily.

And according to Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader, there was again no staff on hand to help because of the Bank Holiday – even though it is often one of the busiest trading days for the retail park, where Croydon’s Ikea superstore is located.

The parking problems yesterday are thought to have been made worse when the always-busy A23 Purley Way was closed or reduced to a single lane near Imperial Way for more than two hours in the afternoon, following the collision. No one was hurt in the shunt and no arrests were made, according to the police.

But drivers in Valley Park were already experiencing difficulties in leaving the car park there, following their shopping trip or visit to a restaurant or cinema. With a single point of access out to the Purley Way, high volumes of traffic frequently make it impossible to leave the car park.

The issue presents a potential threat to customers’ safety, since in the case of a medical emergency, ambulances would be delayed, if not prevented, from getting into and then leaving the retail park.

As Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader said, in an email sent from their stationary vehicle: “At this moment loads of cars (feels like hundreds) are stuck in traffic trying to get out of Valley Park car park.

“We are gridlocked and have not moved for half hour. In total we have only moved the distance of five cars in an hour and a half. People have tried the traffic and security office, but it is closed because of the Bank Holiday.

“I feel trapped and know that if there was a problem, help would not be able to get here. Why is there not a second exit that can take the stress off the one exit?

“I saw that you wrote something similar in January. Nothing has changed. If anything, it’s possibly getting worse.”

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Broad Green, Business, Ikea, Purley Way, Transport, Valley Park, Waddon and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Valley Park shoppers ‘trapped’ without help on Bank Holiday

  1. In six or seven years’ time, just substitute Westfield for Valley Park. If the megamall is actually built the same problems will occur: one way in, one way out, no variation possible, a recipe for gridlock if there is any impedance to traffic. Happy times ahead.

  2. I hope there were enough tiny violins to play laments for car-owning shoppers who chose to spend their bank holiday this way. If only air ambulances were invented to account for such situations so that small-minded oafs could avoid pretending their inconveniences were at all important.

  3. derekthrower says:

    I just find it amazing what some people will tolerate in the name of shopping. Utter madness.

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