Art­work deemed un­safe

Llanelli Star - - FRONT PAGE - Bethan Thomas [email protected]­plc.com

DRIV­ERS pass­ing the Loughor bridge through to Llanelli of­ten spec­u­lated what it was.

Nick­names for the mon­u­ment in­cluded the Cheese Grater, the Witch’s Hat, the Wig­wam and the Step­ney Wheel, but this month the iconic sculp­ture on the A484 was re­moved af­ter be­ing deemed un­safe.

The art­work, on the Bynea round­about at the West­ern end of Loughor bridge, was con­structed in 2009 by artist Colin Rose.

Named the Swirl Cone by him, the fea­ture marked the vis­i­tors’ en­trance to Car­marthen­shire county and was said to rep­re­sent Llanelli’s rich ties with the steel in­dus­try.

The at­trac­tion was met with con­tro­versy as mem­bers of the pub­lic said they be­lieved it could be dan­ger­ous, and fur­ther con­cerns were raised by driv­ers who recog­nised the con­tin­u­ous de­cline of the fea­ture, not­ing that some spokes ap­peared dam­aged and the steel seemed to be rust­ing.

De­spite the doubts, the fea­ture was com­mended for rep­re­sent­ing an im­por­tant part of Llanelli’s her­itage and for its colour­ful light dis­play at night in which the coloured lights at the centre of the de­sign are re­flected on to the out­ward spokes. How­ever, this year, af­ter a ve­hi­cle crashed into it, snap­ping some of the wires, the piece was put un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and ul­ti­mately taken down.

Stephen Pill­ner, head of trans­porta­tion and highways for Car­marthen­shire Coun­cil said: “The Swirl Cone sculp­ture on the Bynea side of the Loughor bridge was re­moved af­ter a safety as­sess­ment iden­ti­fied that the cen­tral pole had buck­led fol­low­ing a collision.”

Dis­cus­sions are cur­rently be­ing held be­tween the coun­cil and lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives re­gard­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of re­pair­ing the mon­u­ment, which was com­mis­sioned by the Bynea Dis­trict Fo­rum.

Bynea coun­cil­lor Deryk Cundy said: “The sculp­ture was hit some time ago by a ve­hi­cle which snapped some of the wires un­der ten­sion.

“It was in­ves­ti­gated, and it would ap­pear that the cen­tral pole was bent be­cause of the re-ten­sion­ing caused by the steel wires un­der stress. It had to be taken down to see if the dam­aged struc­ture can be re­paired.”

Llanelli’s iconic round­about swirl cone sculp­ture near Bynea on A484 has been deemed un­safe and re­moved fol­low­ing a collision.

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