A Hastings mum of three described the Rock-a-Nore car park as ‘utter chaos’ over the Bank Holiday weekend after she and her children spent more than two hours trying to leave on Saturday afternoon (March 31).
Lucy Taylor, of Coombe Shore, Ninfield, returned to her car from a day out at the beach and the arcades with her children at about 2.45pm on Saturday.
Approximately two and a half hours later – after 5pm – Lucy and two of her children, aged three and ten, were finally out of the car park and onto Rock-a-Nore Road.
Lucy, a nail artist, said: “I think it’s an ongoing problem with the car park having spoken to a few people. It was just ridiculous.
“There was nobody there to marshal the cars, it was just utter chaos.
“People were getting quite irate with each other and rightly so. It was the journey from hell.
“I was in a car on my own with two kids. Other people had someone with them in the car to get out and stop the traffic on the road but I was just on my own, I couldn’t do that. People eventually just started pulling out and I couldn’t move.”
Lucy said she and her children were parked behind the aquarium about three rows back and could not move with cars stopped in front and behind hers.
Once they finally managed to get out of the car park, Lucy said they had to queue at the traffic lights at the end of Rock-a-Nore Road before they eventually made it onto the A259.
Lucy added: “It was just the fact it was such a busy day. There was some sort of event on nearby which meant there were hundreds of people trying to get in while hundreds were trying to get out.
“There was no traffic warden, nobody directing traffic and just no system. People were fuming and pulling out in front of each other.
“I know the car park is made of gravel but there are also no markings which just adds to the chaos.
“Eventually, a gentleman who was just walking past started to direct traffic but he was just using his initiative.”
This is not the first time motorists have been stuck leaving the car park.
In April 2017, hundreds of holiday makers were stuck for up to three and a half hours as they tried to leave the Rock-a-Nore Road car park.
At the time, East Sussex County Council said tailbacks were caused because motorists on the A259 were given priority at the traffic lights at the junction with Rock-a-Nore Road.
Lucy said she ‘not surprised’ there had been previous incidents at a similar time of year. She added: “I have never had a problem parking there before but I don’t think I will be parking there again – certainly not on my own with two children in the car.
“It was just such a long day and my three-year-old was getting really tired.
“The car park just needs better organisation. It needs marshals there taking the initiative to get the traffic flowing and possibly another entrance.”
Hastings Borough Council has been approached for comment.
East Sussex County Council has been approached for comment.