SANDBANKS residents “felt trapped in their own homes” as hundreds of people descended on the area on Friday causing gridlock traffic.

Police urged people to avoid the area on Friday evening after traffic came to a standstill.

David Morley, of the Sandbanks Community Group said it was “chaos”, exacerbated by the road works in Shore Road.

Mr Morley said: “The roadworks are an added complication. In the summer, we always have problems with traffic, there’s only one way by road on and off Sandbanks.

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“At peak times you get way too many cars coming when it’s already full and the way to deal with it is access to Sandbanks has to be closed, there’s just no room.

“You can’t get on or off of Sandbanks without going through the roadworks, there’s three-way traffic lights which makes it very slow.

“We have had residents really concerned, some are concerned about emergency access, I have had people say they feel trapped in their own homes.

“At peak times it can take an hour or more to get off Sandbanks, imagine adding an extra hour to every journey you make.”

Mr Morley said he has had “helpful discussions” with Wessex Water and said they were doing “everything they can”.

He continued: “When we get to peak days, everyone heads for the coast, everyone wants to go in the sea and Sandbanks is very popular, there’s your problem.

“By the end of July we will still have those peak times but it won’t be made worse by the roadworks.

“It needs to be managed and it seems the best way is to manage the access.”

The roadworks, carried out by Wessex Water to repair a damage sewer, began in late May and was scheduled to last two weeks.

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However, it was confirmed last week the works would continued until late July as the pipe would be re-lined.

A Wessex Water spokesperson said: “The three-way traffic lights are being manually controlled from 7am to 11pm seven days a week, which allows the roadworks teams to manage peak flows and liaise with Sandbanks Ferry on when to prioritise vehicles coming off.

“While traffic is always extremely busy at this time of year, particularly during hot weather, we appreciate this emergency unplanned work is having an impact and we’re sorry for that. Our work to reline the sewer is scheduled to finish before the peak school summer holiday season.”

Last summer, BCP Council closed Shore Road to manage the traffic situation. The council has been approached for a comment on this matter.