THIS year's Poole Quay bonfire night fireworks attracted so many people that traffic problems were reported in the town centre for hours afterwards.

Some residents living close to the quayside, and visitors to the event, have since criticised organisers for a lack of planning for the extra traffic.

One Poole resident, who asked not to be named, said: "I've never seen such a shambles trying to get out of Poole.

"It took 20 minutes just to get our ticket to pay at the machine, then it took us another two hours to get out of the car park."

The motorist who parked in the High Street multi-story car park, Hill Street, Poole, added: "It was diabolical, it took an hour to move one level.

"The council should know better, there was no-one on duty directing traffic down there. Poole was a total mess.

"Come down and see the fireworks? Well yes, come down and see fireworks for 15 minutes and then spend two hours looking at a car park."

Meanwhile, Bob Danks, who lives at Strand Street, close to Poole Quay, said the ad-hoc traffic system put in place for the event actually prevented him from driving home.

"Might I suggest to the local traffic department that next November they publish in advance any traffic scheme that is going to make matters worse," he added.

Bournemouth & Poole Tourism liaison manager Graham Richardson confirmed "many thousands" of people flocked to Poole Quay for Monday's free evening of music, street entertainers, children's rides and the 8pm firework display.

Mr Richardson explained: "This year saw a larger audience than previous years, which led to increased congestion on the town centre roads owing to the sheer volumes of traffic all trying to leave the area at the same time after the display.

"All roads were back to normal by 10pm.

"Our variable message signage on the approaches to the town centre did notify drivers to expect delays. As with all of our events we will be reviewing traffic management arrangements for next year’s event and apologise for any inconvenience caused."