'I've not witnessed any issues' - councillor on Yoxman traffic concerns

The Yoxman statue towers over the A12 in east Suffolk

The Yoxman statue towers over the A12 in east Suffolk - Credit: PA

A community leader has dismissed suggestions the 26-foot Yoxman statue off the A12 in east Suffolk could distract motorists and cause an accident.

Russell Pearce, chairman of Yoxford Parish Council, said people have been stopping at the side of the road to take pictures of the statue in the village since it was erected near Cockfield Hall last November.

The bronze statue, which was created by sculptor Laurence Edwards at his studio and foundry in Halesworth, has recently made national news amid concerns it could take drivers' attentions away from the road.

But Mr Pearce said he has not heard of any notable road accidents near the Yoxman - which took four years to make and has been dubbed the 'Suffolk Colossus' by the national press.

The bronze statue being lifted to its position in Yoxford last November

The bronze statue being lifted to its position in Yoxford last November - Credit: Denise Bradley

He said: "I think it’s great. There’s a lay-by beside it and people do stop and take photographs of it.

"They pull into the lay-by, stop, take photographs and drive on.

"You can see it as you drive past. I suppose if somebody had never seen it before perhaps it could be distracting, but I don’t see it as a problem personally.

The Yoxman statue by artist Laurence Edwards stands beside the A12 road at Cockfield Hall in Yoxford

The 26-foot statue has been dubbed the 'Suffolk Colossus' - Credit: PA

"I’ve not witnessed any issues."

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Mr Pearce said there had been "a lot of good feedback in the village" but revealed the monument had not pleased everyone in the community.

He added: "A few people don’t like it, but then you’re not going to please everybody."

Mr Edwards, who lives in Yoxford, said when the statue was unveiled in November: "Yoxman is a beacon of local identity and a frame of reference for an evolving relationship with the landscape.

Sculptor Laurence Edwards with his creation before it was erected

Sculptor Laurence Edwards with his creation before it was erected - Credit: Denise Bradley

"He’s kind of like a revenant, a visitor from the past that’s come back, musing on an unrecognisable environment and contemplating its future.

"The sculpture also marks a transforming moment on the River Yox’s journey through the lowlands of East Suffolk, before it flows - as the Minsmere - out into the North Sea."

Mr Edwards had previously expressed hope the Yoxman would be the first of many totemic figures created in Suffolk and help attract more tourists to the county.

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