TRAFFIC chaos was unleashed this week when the lights controlling Junction 7 of the M65 at Clayton-le-Moors suffered a "catastrophic failure".
Police say the lights at the Dunkenhalgh Way junction developed technical problems during Tuesday but by Wednesday morning they had gone out altogether, causing a nightmare for drivers.
Officers were forced to set up a set of temporary lights to control the busy junction while bewildered drivers from Clayton, Rishton and Great Harwood were kept waiting for ages in the morning rush-hour.
There were reports of people taking more than an hour to travel a few miles and traffic was unable to get out of Harwood New Road onto the main Rishton-Blackburn road because of the traffic back-up.
Sergeant Pete Sculpher, of Accrington Traffic Police, said: "There was no accident that caused a delay, it was just the lights as the signal box near the GEC Business Park had a systems failure.
"We knew the delays would last for quite a while as it was a catastrophic failure.
"It was quite similar to an incident which took place at Junction 6 near Whitebirk recently.
"It is rare for traffic lights to go out this badly and for us to have to put temporary lights in their place."