A NEW supermarket opened in Huddersfield - and brought part of the town to a shuddering halt.
Widely-publicised special offers brought bargain-hunters flooding to the new Netto store at Aspley.
It caused chaos and a former traffic warden said that if wardens still existed they could have sorted the problem out.
Although the store opened at 8am yesterday the first shoppers arrived at 6.30am eager to snap up the best buys.
By 11am 1,500 people had gone through the tills.
But the narrow roads around the newly-renovated supermarket on Carr Pit Road quickly became snarled up.
The one-way system meant cars could get in down Carr Pit Road, but were not allowed back out that way.
They had to a follow a one-way system along Silver Street West or Ivy Street and then turn right into Silver Street.
Traffic lights at the junction of Silver Street on to Wakefield Road are set for light numbers of traffic and were only letting four cars through at a time - yet hundreds of vehicles were caught up in the jams.
Traffic quickly backed up, causing the severe congestion.
The former traffic warden was caught up in the queues for 45 minutes. He said: "This shows what a bad decision it was to get rid of traffic wardens. They were replaced with Kirklees parking attendants - but they have no power to stop or direct traffic.
"Only the police have the power to sort this out."
Netto spokeswoman Anita Morris admitted: "It has caused chaos. We had to restrict the number of people going in.
"At one point we had 200 people queuing."
Nicola Ainley, a hairdresser at Snips on Carr Pit Road, said: "We've had serious trouble parking and so have our customers. It was gridlock."
One woman had driven there from Almondbury, but gave up once she saw the car park was full.
It then took the woman, who asked not to be named, 25 minutes to get back on to Wakefield Road.
At least one parked car was damaged by another hitting it. The motorist drove off.
But the queues were good- humoured and entertained by a band and camp clown Bubbles. He said: "I've been at the opening of several Netto, but none as manic as this, except West Bromwich."
Amy Kaur, 40, of Almondbury, who was shopping with 18-year-old daughter Sharon, said: "We queued for 25 minutes to get in, but it was worth it.
"We've spent around £50 and probably saved around £35 - and we've been entertained."
June Shone, 60, of Taylor Hill, said: "I got here at 9am and was going to buy a sewing machine, but they had all gone by 8.30am."
Instead she'd bought a pushchair, a carpet cleaner, a couple of car seats and a present for her grandson.