The scale of the queues at McDonald’s – and the restaurant’s attempts to solve the issue – were captured from the sky yesterday thanks to some eye-opening drone footage.

McDonald’s reopened 39 of its drive-thrus yesterday, including its branch in Garston, and unsurprisingly, hundreds flocked to the restaurant.

Some were so desperate to get their hands on a Big Mac or a box of chicken nuggets that they queued for the best part of two hours.

Photos of the traffic from the ground were shared online yesterday – and now we can show you a bird’s eye view of the ‘chaos’.

Hillingdon Times:

In this image, you see the front entrance on the left cut off by abarrier and all traffic coming in off the A405. Credit: The Drone Photo Company

Hillingdon Times:

A wider shot of the scene at McDonald's. Credit: The Drone Photo Company

What you can see in the drone images is cars queueing around the block from St Albans Road onto the A405.

What you can’t see is the number of cars out of shot with reports from councillors and residents of queues back to the Dome Roundabout and towards Bricket Wood.

Yesterday afternoon, after “hours” of drivers sitting with their engines running, a decision was made to close the St Albans Road entrance and send all traffic in via the A405.

Hillingdon Times:

This was taken yesterday before the St Albans Road entrance was closed. There were queues in both directions to get in. Credit: Cllr Giles-Medhurst

Hillingdon Times:

This shows a queue from the direction of Watford towards McDonald's. We're told at one stage, the traffic tailed back to The Dome

It seemed to work until about 5pm, when it got really busy again and the area remained at a standstill until closing time at 10pm.

A resident who lives nearby said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. We had buses, lorries, even ambulances fighting their way through the traffic.

“There was hooting, shouting and abuse. McDonald’s had two young guys out trying to direct the traffic but they were just overwhelmed.

“It takes 30 minutes once your on the forecourt to order and get back out again. That doesn’t include the queue to get onto there. It’s not fast food anymore.

"The drive thru became gridlocked because those leaving were getting stuck in the traffic trying to get in.

“I asked McDonald’s if they could close even for an hour but they said no. I even called the police about it.

“At about 9.30pm, McDonald’s were trying to close if off but staff were being abused with people saying they’d been queuing. Other people were getting out of their cars trying to get to the windows and get food that way.”

County councillors Tim Williams and Stephen Giles-Medhurst were down at the site yesterday and then again today.

Hillingdon Times:

Cllr Giles-Medhurst, left, and Cllr Williams, on the A405 today. Pictured in the background is drivers heading into McDonald's

Cllr Giles-Medhurst says it was “bedlam” yesterday and thought there had been an accident due to the amount of traffic. It was his suggestion to close the St Albans Road entrance.

While Cllr Williams said: “We have got to appreciate the popularity of McDonald’s but at the same time, McDonald’s could have worked closely with the authorities to try and lessen the disruption.

“I’ve been back down at 12.30pm today and it is chaos. I have received numerous complaints from residents about noise impact and air pollution. 

“They could do a book-in system or have more people directing traffic, or waving them away if it is too busy.

“There is also a highways safety issue here with people queuing on the dual carriageway. All it needs is someone queuing to pull out in the fast lane.”

Hillingdon Times:

This was traffic in St Albans Road yesterday as drivers held up others as they waited to get into McDonald's

Hillingdon Times:

Cllr Tim Williams pictured today with a queue in the background

McDonald’s has taken steps to solve the issue but it seems unable to deal with volume of traffic particularly at lunchtime and during the evenings.

There have been similar queues at McDonald's drive thrus further down St Albans Road in North Watford, as well as on the A41 in Bushey.

A spokesperson said: “With restaurant teams adjusting to new procedures to enable safe working and social distancing, things may take a little longer in our newly opened restaurants, and demand has already been very high. 

“In line with our opening plans, we have been working closely with the police and highways authorities to help prevent disruption. 

“Today, having reconfigured the direction of traffic through our site to improve the flow of cars, while there have still seen some queues at peak times, there has been a significant improvement.”

Hillingdon Times:

McDonald's has shared this photo with us which the company says was taken at 2pm today and shows no queue