A WOMAN has died after falling from a bridge over one of the south's major commuter routes.

Police have closed a large section of the A31 dual carriageway around Ringwood after being called to the scene at around 4.39am.

The woman was seen climbing over the railings before falling into oncoming traffic.

It is believed she was hit by vehicles and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police, who earlier indicated two vehicles had been involved in the incident, said they have yet to confirm the woman's identity.

The road closure is expected to last several hours, causing major delays across the New Forest.

Police have shut the eastbound carriageway from the A338 Salisbury Road junction, with both the on and off slip roads closed, and the Highways Agency has set up diversions.

Motorists wanting to get to the eastbound M27 will be diverted through the village of Brook.

Inspector Kirsty Shannon, of Totton Roads Policing Unit, has appealed for anyone who thinks they know who the dead woman might be to get in touch.

She said: "This appears to be a very tragic incident and it is important to swiftly identify this lady so we can inform her next of in as quickly as possible."

The woman is described as white, and wearing pyjamas and slippers, as well as a white v-neck jumper with a Pringle pattern, and a blue jumper.

It is not known how old she is, but officers believe she is likely to be local to the area.

Police are still at the scene and say the road will remain closed throughout the morning rush hour.

Anyone with information should call Hampshire police on 101, quoting Operation Broxton.