THE CHAOS which unfolded inside the car park at IKEA last weekend was a traffic management problem, not the result of a car accident, police have said.

Queues of cars were seen trying to leave the car park this afternoon and IKEA announced on Twitter that a crash near the store was causing heavy traffic.

However, Thames Valley Police (TVP) revealed the problems were nothing to do with a crash.

A police spokesman said: "This appears to be traffic management issues in a private car park rather than a police incident and I cannot see from our log that officers have attended a collision in this road."

Some shoppers said they were stuck for more than two hours and warned residents to avoid the Calcot-based store.

George Ross posted on Twitter: "@TVP_WestBerks people, please avd Ikea at all costs. Staff not preventing cars entering c/park, chaos! 2hr wait to exit. #ikeareading #ikea."

James Paton added: "It is not the first time shoppers have been trapped inside the car park and IKEA had previously vowed to resolve the parking issue."

A tweet from the official IKEA account suggested that an accident close to the store had caused the heavy delays.

However, the Swedish furniture firm has now admitted the problems were caused by roadworks.

Johanna Heuren, IKEA Reading store manager, said: “We can confirm that there was disruption to traffic around our store yesterday afternoon, Sunday September 3.

"The disruption followed the closure of one of the entrance lanes to the retail park due to road works. This resulted in a bottleneck at the roundabout which caused severe delays on Pincent Lane and in our carpark.

"On this busy 'back to school' weekend our team didn’t anticipate the consequence of the lane closure and responded as quickly as possible to try to rectify the situation. We would like to thank our valuable customers for their patience."