A SECTION of the A35 will remain closed for a 'protracted period' following a crash, and drivers are warned to plan ahead.

The A35 westbound is closed between the A354, Puddletown, and the B3150, Stinsford, due to a crash involving a lorry and a van.

The road is expected to remain closed for a while as a police investigation must be carried out.

Highways England is warning motorists to plan ahead and use alternative routes.

A spokesman said: "The A35 in Dorset is closed in both directions near Dorchester between the A354 (Puddletown) and the B3150 (Stinsford) following a serious collision involving a lorry and a van.

"Dorset Police are on scene along with paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service, the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. Dorset Fire & Rescue are also attending.

"Due to the seriousness of the collision a police investigation will be required and the road will remain closed for a protracted period for this to be carried out and for the vehicles to be recovered and the carriageway to be cleared.

"There is no official diversion route around this section of the A35, therefore road users planning on using this section of road this morning are urged to plan ahead and use alternative routes. Please allow additional time for your journey."

Highways England has now confirmed that the A35 eastbound has been reopened as well as one westbound lane.