TWO people had a lucky escape after their car was sandwiched in a multi-vehicle smash on the Wessex Way last night.

The collision caused traffic chaos across the area as motorists struggled to find alternative routes to avoid the A338, which was closed at Springbourne roundabout for about an hour.

The driver and passenger of the silver Smart car had to be cut free from the vehicle as a result of the three-car collision, which took place just before the Cooper Dean slip road around 4pm.

Police were forced to close the northbound carriageway at Springbourne roundabout to Cooper Dean as three fire crews worked to free the pair, who were taken to hospital by ambulance.

Their injuries are not believed to be serious although one of the casualties was removed on a spinal board.

Alternative routes quickly became congested with rush hour traffic backed up to County Gates roundabout while Richmond Park Road and Charminster Road were also at a standstill as drivers struggled to avoid the tailbacks.

Ashley Road in Boscombe and Castle Lane were also affected by the incident.

One motorist said: “It's a nightmare. Whatever route you take, it's snarled up, the tailbacks are horrendous.

“Whichever way you go, you're going to get stuck.”

The accident, which took place in lane one, just before the Cooper Dean turn off, closed the road for around an hour as firefighters worked to extract the pair by removing the doors of the car.

One driver, the first in the queue on the Wessex Way, said: “Police told us to turn our engine off and didn't say how long it would be.

“We can see the fire engines and police cars and ambulances in front of us but nothing is moving.

“Fire crews are having to cut out two people and we can see one in an ambulance.

“All the cars are just bunched up together.”

Police opened the road around 5.15pm.

The Smart car and the Toyota were both recovered.