Slugs branded 'the worst' after causing traffic mayhem in South Gloucestershire

The slugs squeeze their way into control boxes for warmth but are singed when they come into contact with electrical wiring.

Slugs and other small creatures are to blame for shorting out traffic lights across South Gloucestershire, according to the council.

South Gloucestershire Council says slugs squeeze their way into control boxes for warmth and shelter before being singed when they come into contact with the electrical wiring.

It means they are knocking out a set of lights in the area about once a month.

The council has now set up an in-house team of engineers in a bid to prevent damage caused by the pests and keep the local road network running.

In a video posted on its StreetCare page on Facebook, the authority said: “Maintenance of South Gloucestershire’s traffic lights is now done by an in-house team at the council.

“Spiders and mice getting into the controllers cause issues, but for Benny and Oz, ‘slugs are the worst'. Protecting the kit from pesky pests will mean less disruption.”

South Gloucestershire Council maintenance engineer Oz fixing the lights after they were damaged by slugs.

Senior maintenance engineer Benny said: “Slugs are a big problem on all sites that haven’t been sealed correctly or are breaking down.

“They just short across terminals and cause major problems. Slugs are the worst.”

Maintenance engineer Oz added: “If there is a little hole anywhere, they will come in.

“Where they are getting in, you can reseal and make sure it’s all watertight so nothing gets in. When you’ve got preventative maintenance, you get less faults.

“It’s better in-house because you tend to spend more time doing it properly.”

Senior engineer Gary said: “Hopefully the maintenance and the time that we’re putting into that maintenance is going to give us payback in the future, so that these faults that are currently eight per day drop down to two or three a week.”

A council spokesperson said: “Keeping our roads safe is one of our main priorities and slugs, snails, spiders and mice are all attracted by the warmth of our traffic light control cabinets but they can cause major issues – spinning webs that channel condensation or sliming across and shorting expensive circuit boards.

“This is by no means unique to South Gloucestershire but is an issue our new in-house team is actively trying to prevent to keep the network running.

“Without proactive maintenance up to 12 sites per year could be affected, which would cause disruption for drivers and pedestrians.”

Credit: Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporter