The A35 was closed for almost six hours following a crash between a lorry and car which left a man seriously injured.

Police, ambulance and fire crews from Charmouth and Bridport were called to the A35 near Chideock shortly after 11.40am on Tuesday.

A man was taken to hospital with serious injuries, according to Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The crash led to road closures in both directions between North Road, Chideock, and West Road in Bridport, with reports of traffic backed up in both directions to Bridport and Lyme for most of the afternoon.

Motorists described ‘gridlock’ in and around Chideock, with some trapped for several hours, prompting fresh calls for a bypass to relieve traffic problems in the village.

One driver travelling between Colyton, Devon, and Bridport claimed the journey took more than two hours as late as 4pm.

Chideock resident John Tilley said the incident was ‘yet another example of an accident closing Chideock off for most of the day.'

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

QUEUES: Traffic backed up in both directions towards Bridport and Lyme Picture: George Dunn

He said: “Many people have missed appointments, trains, boats and planes and may have suffered lost business and frustration, while some could not leave the village to visit friends, family and loved ones. Buses, a vital link, were cancelled.

“Just what will it take to bring the vital few to their senses and support the overwhelming call for a Chideock bypass?”

Members of the Chideock Bypass Working Group say the village needs a ‘permanent solution’ to its traffic problems.

Chairman Anna Dunn said: “It just shows that we do need a bypass. When the accident first happened, it was gridlock. There is nowhere else for those cars to go.”

The group has submitted an application to Highways England for consideration in its Strategic Road Network (SRN) scheme and will find out whether it has been successful later in the year.

There has been a longstanding campaign to build a bypass around Chideock.

Plans were approved in 1993 but were cancelled, along with several other bypass projects, in November 1996 for economic reasons and it was revoked by Act of Parliament in 1999.

The working group aims to revive the agreed proposals and take action to build a bypass of the A35 running through the village which, it believes, will ease congestion. It hopes to divert the A35 trunk road away from the centre of village, claiming it could improve the environment and road safety in the area.

It launched a petition in November seeking signatures to back its proposal.