End of the road for sculpture
A Blackpool landmark destroyed during a horrific road smash will not be replaced in the near future.
The helter skelter artwork, which had adorned the roundabout at the end of the M55 since 1995, was damaged after it was hit by a car last December.
The driver, a 54-year-old man from Accrington whose car was being pursued by the police, died at the scene following the accident which also left the steel sculpture severely mangled.
Council chiefs, who originally commissioned the piece, today said there was no funding available to replace it.
Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for municipal assets on Blackpool Council, said: “The helter skelter artwork on the roundabout was well liked and provided a nice entrance for people driving in to Blackpool off theM55 motorway.
“Unfortunately, the car crash there a few months ago damaged the artwork so badly that it cannot be repaired.
“Replacing the artwork will cost money that would have to come out of our roads budget, meaning that we would have less to spend on repairing potholes and resurfacing poor roads.
“For that reason we will not be able to replace it in the short term, however we will continue to look for any external funding that may be available to help us bring a new welcoming entrance to that roundabout.”
Sculptor David Annand, who created the figures for the artwork, said he could recreate the helter skelter design if funding did become available, for instance if it was raised by the community.
He said: “I was sorry to hear about what had happened, and sorry for the driver and his family.
“It was a well-known piece of sculpture.
“It would be quite a challenge to do it again but I could do it if the funding was available although I don’t know how much it would cost.
“A lot of the work I do relies on people being inspired by something and they are drawn together to fundraise.
“I am always amazed at the enthusiasm of people.”
David, who is based in Scotland, created the figures, and the steel of the helter skelter was rolled by the same company that provided the steel for the Big One rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach.
The final structure was assembled on council premises.
Over the years Blackpool FC fans have decorated the helter skelter with Seasiders scarves to mark club successes.
Last December’s crash was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for an investigation.