THERE was traffic chaos around Bridport following a crash which left three people injured. 

Traffic was backed up for hours after a two-car crash near the Crown roundabout led to the closure of part of the A35. 

The incident happened on Thursday and has sparked fresh fears ahead of the results of a consultation on a planned traffic scheme.

Emergency services were called to the collision – between a blue Volkswagen Caddy and a silver Mercedes A Class - shortly after 10am.

The A35 was closed southbound between the B3157 West Bay Road and the B3162 West Road while they dealt with the incident.

Three people were taken to Dorset County Hospital with minor injuries.

The road was closed for about two hours, but according to witnesses, traffic was backed-up along South Street for much longer as vehicles diverted away from the crash scene.

Residents and business owners are now reissuing their concerns ahead of the release of a public consultation on the potential trial closure of South Street between the junction of Gundry lane and the town hall.

Business owner Matthew Hall, of RKL Tooks and Hardware, said: “South Street may as well have been closed that day. There were long tailbacks and nobody could get in or out. It was gridlocked and even when the A35 reopened, it took longer for South Street to clear. The road might as well have been closed. Customers could not get to us. There’s no way that’s going to be sustainable for three months if they go ahead with the trial.”

Mark Dicker, of Animal House, said: "As a result of the road being closed at the Crown roundabout, all traffic began to funnel back up through South Street. It included large lorries and trucks. Basically, the town became a ghost town. 

"The idea of closing South Street is a silly idea. They need to prove to us that things like this won't happen before they go ahead with it, rather than a trial to see what happens. A three-month closure could be so damaging for businesses - most of which are independent - and they could go bust."

The results of the public consultation into the trial closure of South Street had been due to be released during a meeting of Bridport Town Council’s planning committee on Monday, however they have been pushed back until tomorrow. 

Town clerk, Bob Gillis, said: “The consultation has been done very well, with lots of responses. There will be a full evaluation report on Friday.”