MOTORISTS faced traffic chaos around Weymouth after a crash led to the closure of a busy route during rush-hour.

Police closed the A354 Weymouth Way between the Manor roundabout and Chafeys roundabout for about two hours today after a collision involving two cars.

Two women were injured in the smash and were both taken to Dorset County Hospital.

One of the women, who suffered head injuries, was rescued from her car by firefighters before being taken to hospital. It is not thought her injuries are life threatening.

The other woman was taken to hospital with neck and back injuries, but a spokesman for the South Western Ambulance Service said it was just a precaution.

Drivers faced a slow crawl home as surrounding roads were clogged up with traffic.

There were reports of gridlock on Spa Road, Radipole Park Drive, Radipole Lane and Dorchester Road as motorists struggled to use alternative routes during the closure.

Police said a Seat car and a Ford Mondeo, both registered to local women, were in collision on Weymouth Way about 4.30pm. It happened just beneath the Spa Road bridge and a number of emergency services vehicles were at the scene.

Firefighters from Weymouth and Dorchester used hydraulic cutting gear to remove the roof of the Seat so a woman could be taken out safely to prevent any further injury.

Paramedics were on scene treating her. Due to the rescue operation by emergency services, police closed both lanes of the carriageway.

An onlooker said: “I could see two fire engines and another fire service car, police cars, ambulances and other paramedic vehi cles. They were attending to a lady in a silver Seat and had cut the roof off the car. I could see they had fitted her with a neck brace. I hope she’s okay.

“As I came away from the scene there was gridlock on the roads due to the closure.”

Weymouth Way was reopened at 6.30pm after the two vehicles involved were recovered. But police warned motorists to continue to expect delays into the evening as the congested diversion routes cleared.