BOROUGH of Poole now believes there is "serious fault" with the town's £37 million Twin Sails Bridge.

The Twin Sails closed two weeks ago, left in the upright position, and investigations have been ongoing to find the cause of the problem

Beleaguered residents have conceded they are now resigned to disruptions between Hamworthy and Poole due to problems with the two bridges.

However, yesterday - after the Daily Echo submitted a number of questions to the council - borough officials confirmed the severity of the issue.

BOP head of growth and infrastructure Julian McLaughlin said: "Following the advice from the sub-contractor, the bridge has been closed while we investigate a grating noise coming from a hydraulic cylinder when the bridge is being raised.

"We believe this is a serious fault, not easily rectified, but will know more once further exploratory work is completed."

The Twin Sails Bridge closed to traffic, without warning, on Friday, November 16.

Yesterday, Mr McLaughlin continued: "We are making every effort to ensure the bridge is operational and reopened to road users as soon as possible.

"We have made interim adjustments to the traffic signals to ease traffic delays at Blandford Road and Rigler Road.

"We recognise the inconvenience this is causing to local people and would like to thank everyone for their patience while this process takes place."

Speaking days after the bridge closed to traffic, Poole Quays Forum chairman Bill Constance said: "Quite frankly people feel resigned to the disruption with bridge closures between Hamworthy and Poole - it seems to be an ongoing story which I know is causing a lot of distress to people."

Cllr Ian Potter, cabinet portfolio holder for planning, regeneration and transportation at BOP, said: "The council is fully committed to maintaining a two bridge system to ease congestion around the town.

"I remain in close contact with the engineering team and together we are committed to providing regular updates as we get more confirmed information, to help keep people informed on progress."

No date has been set for The Twin Sails Bridge to reopen.