A CYCLIST has been rushed to hospital with possible "life changing injuries" after a collision involving a lorry on the A31 this morning.

The accident took place near to the Ashley Heath roundabout and forced the rush hour closure of a large section of the dual carriageway – one of the main routes into the conurbation – for almost three hours.

While the injured cyclist, a man in his 30s from Wiltshire, was taken to Southampton General Hospital, the driver of the lorry was uninjured.

Bournemouth Echo:

Dorset Police say the cyclist's family has been informed.

Emergency services were called to a section of the A31, near the Ashley Heath Interchange, just after 8.10am.

Inspector Joe Pardey, of the traffic unit, said: "I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the collision and has not already spoken to police to please get in touch.

“I am also keen to hear from any motorists who were travelling on the A31 and may have captured anything relevant on dashcam footage.

“Finally, I would like to thank the public for their patience while the road closures were in place.

"These were absolutely necessary to allow for the safety of officers while dealing with the collision, treatment to be given to the injured person and an examination of the scene to be carried out.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Thousands of motorists were caught up in lengthy delays after police closed the westbound carriageway, between Ringwood and the A338.

Tailbacks were reported stretching back up to three and-a-half miles to approach of the closure.

The road eventually fully reopened just after 11am.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email SCIT@dorset.pnn.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 14:123.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or call freephone 0800 555 111.