Fast food demand causes traffic slowdown
FAST food chain KFC is making changes at its new Ferndown restaurant after a rush of customers brought traffic chaos to a busy road.
The new takeaway business attracted so many people on Friday evening that residents in Ringwood Road rang the police to complain.
Now the franchisee who operates the KFC business at the former car showroom site is making changes at the car park to improve the movement of vehicles.
Sylvia Bolt, who lives near the restaurant, said KFC customers could not move quickly enough through the drive through and caused the area near the junction at Penny's Hill to become congested.
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She said she saw cars trying to get in by the drive-through exit and out through the entrance, adding to the snarl-up.
She said: "KFC customers were also stopping on double yellow lines to pick up their orders and some people were parking anywhere they could including Amberwood Nursing Home and Homelands House car parks which caused problems for carers."
Mrs Bolt added: "It was complete gridlock. The fear that this would happen had already been raised when this went to planning.
"It wasn't a problem when the site was a garage and car showroom because that was closed by 6pm.
"I'd like to think KFC could move to another site further away from that junction.
"Friday was horrendous and I was worried someone would get hurt with all the cars."
A spokesman for the franchisee said: "As with any new business, we often experience extremely high demand when a restaurant first opens and this was the case on Friday evening.
"We're sorry that this caused some inconvenience for local residents, but would like to reassure them that we are working on new markings within our car park to make it clearer for customers and help the traffic to flow more easily."
A spokesman for Dorset County Council said: "We have been involved in assessing the planning application for the KFC site as with all planning applications. An assessment was made using data from similar sites to see what impact the takeaway would have on traffic and the highway. We haven't received any reports of traffic congestion at the site. We will continue to monitor the situation to see if anything needs to be done to improve the flow of traffic."
A spokesman for Dorset Police said a call had been received soon after 6pm reporting traffic congestion.
Officers attended and confirmed that vehicles turning into KFC were causing delays during the rush hour.