Lounging at the side of a busy main road, five stray horses were apparently unconcerned by the rush hour traffic in Dudley today.
The animals were spotted casually standing and lying on a patch of grass in Venture Way, Brierley Hill, outside the Asda store.
It is not known when the horses set up camp at the spot — though milkman Glyn Berrington, who serves the Brierley Hill area, believes he may have spotted the herd at 6am walking along Orchard Street.
"When they get onto the main roads, like they have here, that's when it causes a real problem," he said. "I think the problem is getting worse. I'm reporting more now than I ever have done before."
One passer-by, who did not wish to be named, said drivers had been slowing down and looking back at the creatures as they stopped at the lights. "One of the horses was lying down, and the other four were standing up. They looked half asleep," he said.
"Some pedestrians looked a bit nervous and were avoiding them. Some others tried to stroke them but they shied away as if they were not used to human contact."
The issue of stray horses has plagued Dudley for more than 20 years — and recently they have also been spotted roaming the streets of Walsall and Tipton.
Earlier this week, horses caused havoc as they wandered along Shakespeare Road, Tipton, holding up motorists and eating rubbish from bin bags.
And Walsall and Dudley councils have vowed to team up to tackle the issue following a barrage of complaints from residents over the manure left in the road, tearing up gardens with their hooves, and putting drivers at risk.
In January last year, a 29-year-old Kings-winford woman was driving along Pensnett High Street when a panicked horse charged at her car, causing her to crash. The horse was taken in by the RSPCA suffering a leg injury, while she suffered minor whiplash.
Just 12 horses were impounded by an outside agency in Dudley during 2009/10 at a cost of £20,400. RSPCA spokeswoman Judith Haw said: "We will continue to work with other authorities with regards to stray horses as we have welfare concerns for the animals."