...but out­side the gar­dens it’s traf­fic hell

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page - Traf­fic on the A3 on Wednesday as peo­ple travel to Wis­ley Flower Show

MO­TORISTS faced hor­rific two-hour, six-mile queues on the A3 on Wednesday as thou­sands of vis­i­tors trav­elled to the RHS Gar­den Wis­ley Flower Show.

Traf­fic be­gan to build in the area shortly be­fore 10am on the ap­proach to the A3M25 Wis­ley In­ter­change at junc­tion 10. High­ways Eng­land said much of the traf­fic was for the Wis­ley Flower Show, which got un­der way on Tues­day and will run un­til Sun­day.

Eye­wit­nesses re­ported see­ing cars and coaches drop­ping off pas­sen­gers be­side the A3 and us­ing the foot­bridge to get to Wis­ley, rather than bat­tle through the A3 traf­fic.

Ad­ver­tiser pho­tog­ra­pher Gra­hame Larter, who got caught in the de­lays af­ter cov­er­ing a sus­pected ram raid on a Co-Op store in Chert­sey, de­scribed the scene as “com­plete chaos”.

A spokesman for RHS Wis­ley said traf­fic was flow­ing into the Wis­ley site and stressed gar­dens staff were help­ing peo­ple into car parks.

“Our show has not been, and is not, caus­ing any back­ups,” he said. “Wis­ley Lane, lead­ing up to our en­trance, is clear and our ded­i­cated team is en­sur­ing that traf­fic can park smoothly.”

How­ever, back on the A3, it was a morn­ing, and soon an af­ter­noon, of mis­ery for tens of thou­sands of mo­torists stuck in north­bound queues back to Send – around six miles in dis­tance.

Su­san Hutchins and her hus­band were among those caught up in the rush.

“We’ve been sit­ting in it for 90 min­utes now,” she told our web­site get­sur­rey at around 12.30pm.

Around 45 min­utes later, she added: “We are very near Wis­ley at last, but I can see it tak­ing another 30 min­utes. We left Farn­ham at 10.45am – not a happy hus­band with me.”

The cou­ple did even­tu­ally ar­rive at Wis­ley at around 1.30pm.

At 11.35am, High­ways Eng­land is­sued its first traf­fic and travel warn­ing con­cern­ing Wis­ley.

“#A3 long de­lays in both di­rec­tions due to the flower show at #Wis­ley. Please al­low ex­tra jour­ney time if trav­el­ling in the area,” it tweeted.

Shortly af­ter 1pm, High­ways Eng­land added: “#A3 de­lays start­ing to re­duce both ways due to the flower show at #Wis­ley. Please do still al­low ex­tra jour­ney time if trav­el­ling in the area.”

The irony of the sit­u­a­tion was not lost on some Ad­ver­tiser read­ers ei­ther.

High­ways Eng­land is cur­rently ex­plor­ing a num­ber of op­tions to im­prove the A3M25 Wis­ley junc­tion, which in­clude widen­ing the A3.

How­ever, this would likely come at the ex­pense of eat­ing into part of the RHS Wis­ley site, threat­en­ing up to 500 his­toric trees.

Steve Sturt said: “Sounds like they need to widen the A3 at Wis­ley.”

Craig Top­pin added: “Ev­ery year, it’s the same.”

Ad­ver­tiser pho­tog­ra­pher Gra­hame Larter added: “It’s com­plete chaos, in a nut­shell. I left Chert­sey at 10am, it’s 11.35am now and I’ve still not got near Wis­ley.

“I’ve just seen a coach drop off its pas­sen­gers be­side the A3 so they can take the foot­bridge to get to Wis­ley.

“There was a mi­nor RTC near the Wis­ley junc­tion in the out­side lane, but the main is­sue is the flower show traf­fic.

“It’s taken me an hour and a half to get here from Chert­sey, it’s just night­mar­ish. More and more peo­ple are drop­ping off their pas­sen­gers to take the foot­bridge.

“Driv­ers are also tak­ing up the mid­dle lane too and try­ing to cut into the lane for the slip road, which is re­ally hold­ing things up.”

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