Sunday, 7 March 2010

A dream that was the bearpit

Following on our coverage of the stolen inner-city ring road, we are pleased to bring the city a photo of what it used to be like, when the ICRR was coming together, when the M32-Parkway was not yet built, without its trees and lovely views of the countryside, but the James Barton Roundabout had been built, with the Bearpit in its heyday -when people would pop out to it for a quick picnic after shopping in Broadmead. It was our answer to the M6 Lancaster Forton services and Portsmouth's Tricorn Shopping centre.



Look at this picture. Lots of -presumably free- parking, no cyclists, no congestion. Now compare it with now: traffic jams, expensive parking, and -apart from this road- cyclists. Even on this stretch, they've added more pedestrian crossings. What happens? The cars get held up. Coincidence? We think not.

6 comments:

comment_bot said...

My memory is falible, but weren't there concrete chess tables in the bearpit? An ideal environment for the budding chess grand master.

Dru Marland said...

No, as you can see from the photo the bearpit is set out for a big game of Hex. Unfortunately, it proved difficult to maintain the interest of the forty volunteers who were needed to move the pieces...

Mr P. Edant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bristol Traffic said...

Mr P.Edant said: "Erm...that's clearly not a photo of the "Tramptheatre" in Bristol."

Well, it's not the lovely outdoor drinking and dancing area we have today, the one where many B.T. members and supporters love enjoying a lunch with a quick beverage, but this is the original design.

Look on google maps in satellite view and you can see that brunswick square is there, and the tower blocks at the 4pm point of the roundabout are there too, only now dwarfed by the old Avon County Council office block (we'd love some pics from the view from there BTW). But it is the Bearpit as originally dreamed of: somewhere for the whole family to go on a weekend, probably en route to a wimpy bar or some other restaurant of the era.

Mark said...

I remember, as a kid, getting off the bus and walking with my parents through the bearpit to Broadmead and being terrified; it smelt, it was SO loud with traffic noise, there were leaky toilets that made puddles in the underpasses and there were homeless people laying on the grass...

...making the pedestrian submissive to the road above was the best thing traffic planners ever did; soon after we started driving in to Bristol instead... what a vision of utopia THAT turned out to be!

SteveL said...

The bus station and the bearpit were the first bits of Brizzle I ever encountered, as a teenager from London, probably in 1983.

Some people may complain about it, but I have fond memories of first discovering its underground shopping areas, and the horsefair, which was then in its heyday.

I wonder what cabot circus will be like in 25 years time.