There have long been safety concerns about the public artwork
An ‘unsafe’ roundabout sculpture in Crewe is set to be removed for alterations – but the area’s MP has called for a rethink on the design. Fears had previously been voiced about the unfinished Solar Gazer artwork on the Jack Mills Way roundabout, which was funded as part of the Basford West development.
Cheshire East Council confirmed that safety concerns had also been raised by its highways service. Traffic cones were then placed around the roundabout and decision has now been made to remove the sculpture so alterations can be made to it off-site.
A spokesperson for the authority said: “Safety concerns about the Solar Gazer structure, on Gresty Road roundabout, have been identified since its installation by the developer. These were picked up through a road safety audit, which is standard practice after any major changes to the highway.
“The safety of highway users is paramount, so, as soon as these concerns were identified, temporary traffic management measures were put in place.
“Council officers have been working to assess options as to how best to address these safety concerns, while seeking to retain the structure in a revised form. A decision has been made to temporarily remove the structure, in the interests of public safety, which will allow the road to fully reopen without lane restrictions.
“Works to alter the structure are due to be undertaken off site, to ensure they can be carried out safely and to minimise any further disruption to road users. These alterations remain subject to securing additional funding and, thus, it is not possible to give a timescale for the return of the structure.
But Crewe and Nantwich MP Dr Kieran Mullan has now called on the council to scrap plans to restore the controversial artwork. Instead, he wants residents and stakeholders to be given a chance to ‘have a say on an alternative design celebrating Crewe’s heritage’.