ANGRY motorists spent up to an hour stuck in the car park of Sainsbury’s at Bridgemead this afternoon as a lane closure caused long delays.
One woman was forced to leave her car and set off on foot as the wait to get out of the supermarket became intolerable.
Swindon Borough Council confirmed that workmen were carrying out maintenance on the verges at the Mead’s Roundabout and had to close one of the lanes for safety reasons.
The lane closure meant that access to the roundabout linking Paddington Drive with the Great Western Way was reduced - traffic flow went from three lanes down to two causing cars to back up past the Sainsbury's roundabout and on towards Penzance Drive.
Drivers attempting to join Paddington Drive from the Ashworth Road retail park were unable to do so.
A lorry parked up on the edge of Paddington Drive, a common problem given the number of distribution depots located nearby, only added to the congestion.
One motorist phoned the Adver shortly after 2.30pm in an effort to find out what was causing him to be stranded in the car park.
“I only nipped in to grab a pastie at 12.15pm,” he said.
“I’m still stuck here now, nothing’s moving, clearly something isn’t right.”
Another driver, also stuck in Sainsbury’s, sent in a picture of cars backed up nose to tail right across the car park.
Alison Hayman got in touch and said: "It took me 35 mins to get out of the Sainsbury's car park.
"A lorry is parked up on Paddington Drive making one lane instead of two and then they are digging up the trees on the roundabout.
"Every single aisle of the car park is blocked."
But while Alison was able to make her way out of the area in the end, other motorists were forced to take more drastic measures.
Emma Middleton was forced to abandon her car for fear of being late to pick her children up from school.
"It's a total nightmare," she said.
"I gave up waiting, I have walked almost two miles home. I'm getting a taxi to do the school run and to hopefully pick up my car later."
She called on the council to think ahead when planning their maintenance work and open the bus lane on Penzance Drive to alleviate the inevitable congestion.
A spokesman for Swindon Borough Council acknowledged the delays and said that as of 2.45pm the situation was improving and the congestion was starting to clear.
However at 3.30pm, the interactive traffic mapping system was still showing Paddington Drive as red all the way from Penzance Drive to the Great Western Way.
The work on the roundabout is due to be completed later this afternoon.