Potato head bus station bid mashed

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Belper’s huge Mr Potato Head statue has been denied a place at the town’s bus station for health and safety reasons.

Shoppers and travellers will have to keep their eyes peeled for the seven-foot-tall glass-fibre statue as Belper Town Council has fallen back on a proposal to set it atop the bus station due to concerns over it falling in high winds.

The iconic figure was originally given by twin-town Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where the Toy Story character was created in the 1950s, and will now stay indefinitely at Belper’s community college.

‘Hated’ by some, the statue has been vandalised in the past so Belper Town Council considered giving him a higher podium to avoid vandalism in the future.

Leader John Nelson said: “It was an idea we had to put him up there so he wouldn’t get vandalised.

“Where he’s situated now, children and even a few adults want to have their picture taken with him, so he’s become very popular.

“There’s always a minority who will vandalise something, but generally the people of Belper love him.”