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Police patrols and traffic delays with huge queues as McDonald's reopen restaurants

By James Vukmirovic | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

Police were drafted in and councils issued warnings over traffic delays as McDonald's reopened restaurants today.

The long queue from McDonald's at Coseley back onto Birmingham New Road and Ivyhouse Lane. Image: Lee Walker

Fans of Big Macs and Quarter Pounders joined the growing queues as a number of the fast food chain’s restaurants opened for the first time since March.

Dozens of cars queued up before the 11am opening

But officers from West Midlands Police were forced to patrol outside outlets to ensure the reopening went smoothly.

Officers from the St Matthew's Police team posted on Twitter: "The queues aren't too long yet either so get it while you can."

The St Matthew's Police tweet

Bilston Police also tweeted showing the length of queue at the town's McDonald's saying people in the queue had an hours wait.

Walsall Council also warned people of the long queue on Reedswood Way hitting access to McDonald's, the retail park and Sainsbury's

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The council tweeted: "Please avoid the area if you possibly can and be prepared for long delays if your travel is essential."

Birmingham New Road and nearby Ivyhouse Lane were busy with a long queue of cars lining streets from the Coseley outlet.

The chain has reopened a number of restaurants around the region for drive-thru services.

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Some people had waited for a long time, with one man waiting an hour outside the Penn Road restaurant in Wolverhampton to be first in line for the 11am opening.

A total of 21 of the region’s restaurants have reopened including Stafford Road, in Wolverhampton, Reedswood Retail Park in Walsall, Kent Street, in Upper Gornal, All Saints Way, in West Bromwich and Power Station Road in Rugeley.

Many of the customers were delighted with McDonald's reopening on Penn Road

Nathan Lemm spoke of his delight at McDonald’s reopening as he waited for his food.

The 32-year-old self-employed electrician from Wolverhampton had been first in the queue at the Penn Road store in Wolverhampton.

Nathan Lemm and Jay Austin collected their food as McDonald's reopened
Anna and Becky Shilvock were among those in the queue

He said: “I’ve been waiting for this for months and I want to buy everything on the menu!

“I was jumping off the rafters and swinging on the lights when I found out McDonald’s was reopening."

The restaurants which have reopened have undergone a number of changes, such as social distancing in the kitchens and service areas and perspex screens at Drive-thru windows.

A long queue of cars at the drive-thru for the Penn Road McDonald's

Thomas Kendrick, business manager of the drive-thru in Kent Street, Upper Gornal, said: “We have got 15 staff working to comply with social distancing and only the drive-thru is open.”

Amy Davies and her seven-year-old son Martin were among the first customers at Kent Street, with Amy saying her son was looking forward to seeing McDonald’s reopened.

She said: “He didn’t think it was real, so we just came up to have a look and see if it was open.”

Staff open the drive-thru for customers at the Penn Road McDonald's

The stores are also operating a limited menu, with breakfast items and milkshakes among the items not currently being served.

Wolverhampton Franchises operations manager Neil Blazey said he expected the next few days to be hectic across the city and the region.

He said: “I think we’re in for quite a few busy days, but there’s five or six stores locally which will give the customers more choice to spread the business around.”

James Vukmirovic

By James Vukmirovic
Community Reporter - @jamesvukmirovic

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, helping under-represented communities to find a voice in Wolverhampton. Contact me at james.vukmirovic@expressandstar.co.uk.

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