A WAYWARD slug caused traffic chaos after it crawled into traffic lights and shorted a circuit board.

Council engineers were stumped when the lights went out and called in contractors after one of Darlington’s major junctions was brought to a standstill on Friday morning.

The Northern Echo: Slug

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The contractors found the slug’s body when they opened the control box at the lights in Whinfield Road’s junction with Whinbush Way, near Asda.

The lights were fixed by noon after the circuit board was replaced. The control box will be sealed to stop other creatures getting in.

Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s member for Haughton East, said he had received a number of complaints from residents about traffic delays on Friday.

He said: “There had been a few complaints about the lights for the past few weeks, so I just thought it was more teething problems.

"A slug was certainly the last thing I was expecting to have caused the problem.

“We do not know how long the slug had been there.

Unfortunately, it was dead by the time we found it, so we were unable to question it.

“Sadly, you just can’t legislate for a rogue slug trying to take out Darlington’s traffic system.”

A council spokeswoman said: “The lights have been in place since March this year. Over the last month, we have experienced a number of faults with them and have been monitoring the situation closely.

“The control box will be resealed this week and this should prevent any more small creatures from accessing this area and, hopefully, see an end to the recent spate of technical problems we have experienced with the lights.

“We would like to thank residents and road users for their patience.”