ROADWORKS which have caused major disruption between Christchurch and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital are due to finish this afternoon.

People trying to leave the hospital last night were stuck in the car park for over an hour. There were tailbacks along Castle Lane East towards Iford.

The issue was caused by works in Barrack Road, Christchurch, with delays continuing this morning.

Utilities company Energetics have been carrying out electricity connection work for a new housing development.

A spokesperson for Dorset County Council said temporary, manually-controlled signals would be removed from the site at around 3pm today when the works are completed.

Royal Bournemouth Hospital said a parking team helped to manage traffic in the car park yesterday evening.

In a message to staff, a hospital spokesperson said there was "no prior warning of the roadworks from either Christchurch council nor Dorset County Council".

"As many of you are all too aware, there were very lengthy delays leaving our RBH site last night. As we said, these were caused by roadworks on Barrack Road which meant traffic could not exit onto Castle Lane East, as traffic blocked back all the way from the temporary traffic lights.

"We are sorry for you, our patients and our visitors stuck in the traffic and appreciate how frustrating this was. Our parking team worked very hard to keep traffic flowing around our site, but if traffic cannot exit onto Castle Lane East, this is a very difficult task.

"This morning we have updated Dorset County Council with the frustrations and anger of staff who were stuck, our visitors and our patients from last night and explained what a knock-on effect the works had to our hospital.

"DCC has sent a team to the site to monitor traffic and the traffic lights, and have assured us they hope to finish the works there this afternoon before rush hour. We shall update you as soon as we have confirmation from DCC that the roadworks have finished and the lights have been removed."

The spokesperson added the hospital was working with Bournemouth council to improve traffic around the exit and on Castle Lane East.