?Ridiculous? traffic has built up around Reigate Garden Centre as the invitation only stage of?its huge closing down?sale begins.
Large traffic queues have built up in the Woodhatch and South Park areas on Wednesday (June 14) areas as an estimated 5,000 customers attempt to visit the centre.
Police are in attendance to marshal traffic and Metrobus have tweeted to say that two of its bus routes are being diverted up Cockshot Hill from the Angel pub until further notice to avoid the traffic.
Owner of Reigate Garden Centre, Gary Tiley, said: ?It?s been ridiculous, the traffic is backed up as far as I can see and the police are out dealing with the traffic.
?I think there must have been about 5000 customers and they?re queuing down the road.
?It?s invitation only today. It opens to the public on Friday but this is a private sale for two days for loyalty members.?
The centre closed to the public on Saturday, June 9 to prepare for the sale and, following the two-day invitation only event, will reopen to the public on Friday, June 15.
The centre will have to officially close on October 31 due to plans to build hundreds of new homes on surrounding land.
Mr Tiley has said that ?1.5 million of stock will have to be sold in the sale and that some items will be reduced as much as 70 per cent.
Reporter Mark Davison who witnessed the traffic near the centre has described the scene.
He said: ?It?s pandemonium. There is traffic chaos across the whole of South Park. The garden centre are saying it takes an hour and a half to get into the car park and to come back later in the day.
?Some people are attempting three point turns in the middle of the road too which adds to the chaos.
?Inside, the queues to the tills are over 100 yards long with scores of people snaking around the building with their trolleys laden.
?One elderly couple has come from Merstham and they told me that they?d given up and put all the stuff back, the queues are horrendous to get to the checkout.
?The closing sale today and tomorrow is just for customers who have to arrive with their invitation letter.
?There are two police officers there who are directing traffic with the help of the garden staff as the temperatures rise and motorists get hot under the collar on this blazing morning.”