TRAFFIC chaos through the Hollins Grove area of Darwen over the past few weeks, and the likelihood of more months of roadwork headaches, have led to picture framer and artist Darrell Smith shutting up shop.

Mr Smith set up Percival Pictures in Percival Street in 2009, moving to the main road 18 months ago.

But ‘horrendous’ traffic problems in Blackburn Road heading towards the motorway forced him to seek premises elsewhere.

Mr Smith said: “It is not going to get any better. I have had enough. I am lucky I can move out. Many others with shops and businesses in this area will have to sit and suffer.”

Percival Pictures will move to the Darwen Market Annexe once a refurbishment project, expected to start soon, is completed.

Mr Smith said: “The borough council is going to spend a lot of money on the annexe area next to the market and it looks an ideal spot for me. “It is bright and airy and I will have plenty of room.

“The council has been very encouraging about the future of the annexe and new work on originals and prints by James Morton, the Darwen artist killed in the First World War, has been a timely boost for the business.

“I am keeping my fingers crossed. At least there won’t be any of the horrendous traffic problems we had down at Hollins Grove.”

Markets manager Gwen Sangster said: “We are really pleased at having someone of Darrell’s obvious talents as part of the market.

“I think he will be a great asset for us.”

The work, which is expected to start soon, will include new lighting, a replacement floor, redecoration and refurbishment and a new storeroom.