DRIVERS have been urged to leave their cars at home ahead of the Bournemouth Air Festival later this week.
Organisers have asked visitors to use public transport or the park and ride service in a bid to avoid the congestion and delays seen over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Motorists struggled to find car parking spaces as tens of thousands of people descended on Dorset beaches in glorious sunshine.
And on Monday evening many were stuck in traffic jams for several hours as they attempted to get home.
At 9.15pm the National Police Air Service tweeted about “nose to tail” traffic on the A338 Spur Road and there were long delays on the A31 near Ringwood and across the New Forest until at least 10pm.
Travel Dorset said they had “never seen queues this long” and Sandbanks roads ground to a halt with the main car park full by 9.15am and queues of several hours for the ferry.
Traffic was at a standstill on the B3351 New Road from Studland to Corfe Castle and elsewhere there were delays at Longham, Bath Road in Bournemouth, the A31 at Wimborne and the A35 near Bere Regis.
Organisers of the air festival, which runs from Thursday until Sunday, are expecting hundreds of thousands of people every day and they have issued the following travel advice.
Park and ride: Services are available from Kings Park from Thursday to Sunday, Redhill Park from Friday to Sunday, Littledown on Saturday and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital, being used as overflow for the Littledown on Saturday and also open on Sunday.
Bus and coach: Buses are available from the coach station to the town centre or seafront.
Train: Buses are available from Bournemouth’s main station.
Boat: Before you head out into the bay, make sure you have a copy of the maritime safety zone restrictions map.