THE exciting-looking £9million bridge planned to carry four lanes of traffic as part of Blackburn's orbital route will be a big step forward.

The idea that Blackburn is to get something designed by a firm of architects with world-wide reputation is excellent.

But there is one important problem. The bridge, just a stone's throw from the newly-opened B&Q store, will not be finished for almost four years.

And that's an awfully long time for people to put up with the traffic snarl-ups that beset the south of the town. The lack of a complete orbital road and the bottleneck of Darwen Street bridge regularly make the area a nightmare for strangers to get around. Add the extra pressure of Rovers playing at home on a Saturday, the queues now facing Asda shoppers trying to get out of the supermarket's car park and the disruption that will inevitably be caused by construction work and it's easy to understand the worries of Chamber of Trade president Raymond Goldstone.

The council should have ensured the traffic system was in place before these superstores were built.

The least they can do now is minimise disruption over the next four years so that shoppers are not driven to use other towns.