Advice to plan your journey if travelling near new IKEA store

Sandy Park Junction complete

Posted on: 3 May 2018

Road users are being encouraged to plan their journeys into and around Exeter on Thursday 10 May when the new IKEA store opens to the public.

Increased traffic volumes are anticipated on the major routes into the city, especially on the M5 at Junction 30 Sandygate roundabout and the A379 leading to the new store. Additional traffic may potentially lead to disruption and longer than average delays in the area surrounding the new store.

IKEA has contracted a traffic management company to deal with the arrangements and consultation on the plans has taken place with Devon & Cornwall Police, Devon County Council and Highways England.  Additional signs will be located on the roads leading into Exeter and the IKEA site which includes mobile variable message signs providing necessary information to road users.  Should the store car park become full, signs will inform drivers and car park access will be temporarily suspended with no queuing permitted on the highway.

It’s expected that the roads surrounding the new IKEA store will be busy for the first few weekends after its opening. Saturday 19 May will also coincide with the Devon County Show and the Exeter Chiefs Rugby Aviva Premiership Semi Final which is being played at Sandy Park – and motorists are asked to seriously consider their journey plans and leave plenty of time if travelling to Exeter on that day.

Cllr Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management, said: “The new IKEA store is expected to attract many people from not only the local area but the wider South West peninsula, when it opens. We’ll have extra resource in the Highways Control Centre, however, the extra traffic will certainly have an effect and it would be sensible for regular commuters, as well as those intending to visit the store, to plan their journeys and be prepared for some delays.”

Highways England’s Emergency Planning Officer, Gareth Price, said: “We are working closely with our partners at Devon County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police to give drivers as much advice as possible to help them plan their journeys during this busy period.

“Junction 30 of the M5 could be particularly busy following the Ikea opening. The north approach to Junction 30 could also see significant increases in traffic between 8am and 10.30am on Thursday 17 May and Friday 18 May, when visitors to the Devon County Show could be using the motorway at the same time as commuter traffic. Saturday 19 May is expected to attract the highest number of visitors and will also coincide with the Exeter Chiefs match. The A30 and A38 could also see increases in traffic.

“Drivers are advised to plan their travel routes well in advance, and to keep up-to-date with the latest road conditions. Yellow signs will advise show visitors which route to take on the approaches to the show.”

Devon and Cornwall Police Exeter Sector Inspector, Simon Arliss, said: “We are anticipating a significant increase in the number of cars travelling into Exeter between 10-20 May; due to the opening of the new IKEA Store and, notably on 19 May, when the Exeter Chiefs play the Aviva Premiership semi-final and the County Show takes place.

“Please consider whether it is necessary for you to travel between these dates, or whether you can delay your trip. If you do have to travel, we would encourage the use of alternative modes of transport. Motorists should expect to spend significant periods of time stuck in very heavy traffic.”

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Environment