A DRIVER and his young daughter escaped unhurt after fleeing a blazing car on a major road.

The pair were using the A31 near Ringwood when smoke started pouring from their vehicle, which turned into a fireball seconds after they pulled over and scrambled clear.

Another driver said he saw the motorist running along the side of the busy dual carriageway with his daughter as the fire took hold.

The witness, who did not want to be named, said: "I was driving to work when I saw smoke coming from one of the cars ahead of me.

"As the driver pulled over the vehicle burst into flames. He got his daughter out and I saw them running along the grass verge beside the road.

"I pulled over as well and put the little girl in the back of my car before giving them both a lift to Bournemouth. The driver didn't say very much - I think he was pretty shocked.

"I've no idea how the fire started but the car went up in seconds and was totally destroyed. Luckily no-one was hurt."

One lane of the westbound carriageway was left blocked following the incident, which happened shortly after 11am on Monday.

Before long traffic queues stretched back as far as Picket Post - and drivers using the eastbound carriageway were also hit by delays.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman confirmed that the car was destroyed in the incident.

She added that a crew from Ringwood fire station were joined at the scene by colleagues from Wiltshire and Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: "Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service dealt with the fire and the vehicle was recovered. No injuries were recorded."