A CYCLIST was killed in a collision with a car near Bovington.

The 78-year-old man, believed to be from the local area, was cycling near Clouds Hill yesterday afternoon when the accident happened.

A police spokesman said the cyclist was in collision with a Mitsubishi 4x4 which was towing a trailer.

The car is believed to have been driven by a man from the Dorchester area.

It is the first incident in which someone has died on Dorset’s roads this year.

The road at Clouds Hill was closed for several hours yesterday afternoon while specialist road accident investigators officers examined the scene.

Diversions were put in place and drivers faced delays as they were forced to take detours to avoid the road closures.

The road was re-opened at around 7.30pm last night.

Police were notified of the incident by South Western Ambulance Service Trust shortly after 3pm.

A spokesman for Dorset Police said: “At 3.10pm we received a report of a very serious road traffic collision near Clouds Hill at Bovington.

“Road closures were put in place at the Clouds Hill junction and the junction with the main road leading from the Bovington area towards Bere Regis.

"Emergency services attended the incident betwen Gallows Hill and Waddock Cross.

"The cyclist sustained serious injuries and was declared dead at the scene."

He added that the man had been identified and efforts were being made to inform his family.

Anyone who say either the cyclist or the car before the incident are asked to contact police on 101.

David Budd, who represents the Wareham ward on Purbeck District Council, said he was ‘saddened’ to hear the news.

He said: “It’s very tragic when you hear of anyone losing their life in this way in an accident, but particularly at a time when people are being encouraged to use healthy, green methods of transport, such as cycling.”

Last year a total of 29 people died in road accidents across the county.

In addition three people died last year in separate incidents after becoming ill at the wheels of their cars.

A motorcyclist died earlier this month near Bournemouth after a horse escaped onto a busy road, but this accident happened in Hampshire and is not included in the Dorset road death figures.

The horse was also killed in the accident on the A31 at Ringwood on Wednesday, January 22, which left another motorcyclist with serious injuries.