The rider of a motorbike has been airlifted to hospital with serious injuries following a crash which closed the southbound carriageway of the A19 in Sunderland.

Police were called to reports of a collision involving a motorbike and a car at the south end of Hylton Bridge just after 7pm tonight.

The rider, a man, was taken by the Great North Air Ambulance to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle. Police said he was seriously injured.

Both lanes of the southbound carriageway were closed as a result and are not expected to reopen until after midnight.

Police are appealing for any witneses to call the non-emergency 101 number.