THE A35 westbound is to remain closed this weekend following the discovery of a major sinkhole.

Highways England is advising drivers that the A35 westbound (towards Dorchester) will remain closed between the A31 at Bere Regis and the A35 at Stinsford roundabout due a large surface defect.

Drivers heading westbound on the A35 are being diverted via Bere Regis Roundabout at the A31, south to Wool, before taking the A352 back to the A35, following the solid triangle diversion.

A spokesman for Highways England said: "Geotechnical survey works have been taking place since Wednesday to assess the size and extent of the damage, and will continue over the weekend.

"Design work will also be taking place this weekend ahead of repair work starting next week.

"We are working closely with our colleagues in Dorset Council and are looking at all options to resolve the issue as soon as possible, including assessing the diversion route with the potential of installing a contraflow on the eastbound carriageway, allowing traffic to travel in both directions and the diversion to be removed.

"We apologise for any inconvenience and will continue to provide updates as soon as they are available.

"Drivers are reminded to allow extra time for their journeys."