TWO people were taken to hospital after a serious traffic collision involving 12 vehicles closed a major road through Ayrshire for around three hours this morning.

The A78, linking the Three Towns with Irvine, Kilwinning and Troon, was closed southbound at Eglinton due to a crash shortly before 10am today (Thursday, December 15).

Drivers were urged to take care on approach and use an alternative route if possible.

Traffic Scotland confirmed shortly before 1pm that the carriageway had reopened and traffic was "slowly returning to normal".

An updated statement from Police Scotland said: "Around 9.40am on Thursday, December 15, 2022, police received a report of a multiple vehicle crash on the A78 southbound near to Eglington Interchange, Irvine.

"Emergency services attended the crash which involved 12 vehicles.

"Two people were taken by ambulance to the University Hospital Crosshouse, Kilmarnock.

"The southbound carriageway was closed until around 12.30pm.

"Enquiries into the circumstances of the crash are ongoing."

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said earlier: "We were alerted at 9.34am on Thursday, December 15 to reports of a road traffic collision involving seven vehicles on the A78 at Eglinton, Irvine.

"Operations Control mobilised four appliances and special resources to the scene.

"There were two reported casualties."