FEARED tailbacks along one of Dorset’s busiest dual carriageways have failed to materialise, despite the start of five weeks of roadworks.

Engineers coned off one lane of the A35 westbound carriageway, between Poole and the Baker’s Arms roundabout, on Monday.

Initially the affected area was concentrated around Policeman’s Lane Bridge, Upton, but yesterday workers extended the coned off section so they could clear verges.

The inside lane is scheduled to remain coned off, in parts, until mid February Drivers did endure heavy traffic along the A35 yesterday, but it was moving smoother than many anticipated.

However, some motorists say they have been forced to endure longer than usual queues along Poole’s Gravel Hill onto the busy A31, which is one of the suggested diversion routes.

Driver Sarah Chandley said: “The traffic is terrible. The diversion is already heavily congested. I am shocked that it has been suggested as a solution.”

Before the latest phase of the A35 roadworks started drivers had been warned they could face up to one-hour delays.

The lane closure is in place to allow workers to strengthen Policeman’s Lane Bridge and carry out resurfacing work, barrier repairs, drain cleaning and verge clearance.

In November, last year, drivers faced gridlock after the scheduled A35 eastbound roadworks coincided with the roadworks along Hamworthy’s Blandford Road and the refit of the Sandbanks Ferry.

On the latest lane closure, Dorset County Council’s highways and transportation member Cllr Peter Finney said: “Drivers should try to understand that this work is for their benefit - the road needs to be maintained so that it can continue to be used by the thousands of vehicles that use it every day.”