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Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 12:35 GMT


UK: Scotland

Chaos prompts renewed Ikea car plea

IKEA is the most eagerly anticipated opening in Scotland

Police have repeated appeals to motorists to stay away from the new Ikea furniture store in Edinburgh.

Lothian and Borders Police described the traffic at Straiton, near Loanhead, as "horrendous".

Despite earlier warnings, shoppers have flocked to the new store creating tailbacks as far as the Lothianburn junction of the Edinburgh bypass.

Interest reached fever pitch as shoppers rushed to get a taste of the Swedish furniture giant's first Scottish store.

Major traffic problems

The store had tried to dissuade people from turning up in the first two weeks in an attempt to avoid major traffic problems in the area.

To discourage car owners, the company has even offered free delivery to customers who arrive by bike or bus.

The lure of free vouchers worth 1,500 for the first customers when it opened on Thursday attracted several shoppers to camp outside the store's main entrance.


BBC Scotland's guide to finding your way round the new IKEA store
Sisters Elaine Barnes and Janice Tennant set up camp among the rubble as workmen added the finishing touches to the premises.

Elaine, 26, from Renfrew, said: "I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss so I asked my sister if she wanted to come with me as I didn't want to go on my own.

Free food

Ikea bosses allowed the sisters to use the store's toilet and shower facilities and provided them with free breakfast and lunches.

Janice, 23, from Clydebank, said: "I am unemployed at the moment so this will come in very handy."

Eagerly awaited

The arrival of Ikea is perhaps the most eagerly awaited store opening ever witnessed in Scotland.

Every week 15,000 Scots travel to Gateshead Ikea store. The firm has planned a store in Scotland for the last five years but has been held up by planning permission.

A second Scottish store is in the pipeline for Glasgow.



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