Check latest traffic news in Bournemouth

THERE was misery for thousands of motorists caught up in a six-mile tailback caused by the latest traffic surveys.

People were up to an hour late getting to work on Thursday because of two traffic surveys - one next to Matchams Lane and the other on the northbound carriageway of the Spur Road.

Jams got so bad that police advised traffic surveyors to stop work to allow traffic congestion to ease at around 9am for just under an hour.

The delays continued throughout the day, with the survey running from 7am to 7pm.

Even at lunchtime, delays were around one mile long, adding eight minutes to journeys.

A motorist said oncoming traffic wasn't given enough warning before hitting a "wall of traffic" and said she was surprised someone had not been badly hurt.

But Peter Scott, chief executive of Dorset Business, said the long-term results were important.

"While we recognise that a number of people feel that the time they lose in the census is creating a direct cost to their businesses, some short-term inconvenience has to be balanced against longer-term benefits," he said.

"Improved traffic management and smoother vehicular movements not just in the vicinity of the airport but across Dorset are important steps to increasing overall business efficiency."

Rick Clayton, project manager of the South East Dorset Transport Study, apologised for the jams and admitted he had fielded several irate phone calls.

"The queues have been fairly substantial," he admitted.

"Any incident or disruption to traffic on the Spur Road is likely to cause these delays.

"It's not popular but I'm afraid it's the only way we can do it.

"We need to get the information in rush hour."

Mr Clayton said the delays were caused because the survey reduced two traffic lanes to one, rather than the survey time.

They also handed out postcards for people to post in their views.

Mr Clayton said if they didn't gather the right data, they might be forced to repeat the surveys again next year, but so far they were meeting targets.

Data will be gathered at 31 locations around on 10 days, until October 23 but prior notice of dates and locations are not being given.

Results will be used to develop a comprehensive transport model for the district.

What is aim of the census?

Drivers are being quizzed about their journeys through the £2 million South East Dorset Transport Study to create a transport model for Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch.

It will outline the area's needs over the next 20 years and will be used to build a case to bid for an estimated £400m of government cash.

The money could pay for improvements including an improved link from the A31 into Poole to ease queuing around Wimborne and along Gravel Hill, better access to Bournemouth Airport, park and ride schemes, and a new railway station at Boscombe.

In the spring, information was gathered from around 33,000 drivers at 30 roadside surveys.

The third wave of data collection will take place at 31 locations throughout September and October.

Motorists may also be asked to fill in a pre-paid postcard to complete the survey.

Details of locations and survey dates are not being given, so motorists do not change their routines.

Anyone with a flight, ferry or important hospital appointment can leave a message for the project team on 01202 265260 to see if they will be affected.

People can also email or see the website