Llanwrtyd Wells bear statue ‘must go’ after ‘road scare’
A 10ft tall wooden grizzly bear at the entrance of a tourist attraction must be removed because it is a road hazard, officials have said.
The statue has marked the entrance to the now-closed Cambrian Woollen Mill on the A483 just outside Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys, for more than 15 years.
It was claimed it caused a crash when a driver thought it was real and swerved.
The Welsh Government said a deadline to remove “all objects” from the site had now expired.
It said it would be forced to remove the bear itself.
Local people who do not want to see the bear removed were holding a “teddy bears’ picnic” in protest on Friday afternoon.
Town councillor Peter James described the bear as “iconic to the area” but said he was unsure of who owned the site it was on.
“I’ve been told that years ago some of the residents even took turns dressing it up,” he added.
Temporary traffic lights have been set up at the spot after, according to the Welsh Government, a large sign was knocked down there posing a risk to road users.
The spokeswoman said: “We have since served notice that, if not removed before 19 June, our Agents will remove all objects to storage, enabling us to fully, and safely, reopen the A483.”
Mr James said he understood the bear could be removed on Sunday.
“The whole thing seems like a joke to me,” he said.
“We also have a red kite statue in the centre of town – could that be causing accidents too?”
However, Chris Prichard, who lives opposite the bear, said he would not miss it, adding it was a danger when people pull in to take photographs with it.
“It’s not safe to do that next to the main road,” he said.
“You often find parents taking photos of their children next to it.”