Normally this road on a Saturday is pretty chaotic: through traffic, shoppers trying to park outside their shops, either in the designated areas, or in the bus stops, the buses trying to get through, pedestrians trying to get across without walking 200m to the lights and back again; then there are the cyclists.
One conclusion you can draw from the emptiness of the parking area is that the area really is only used by shoppers and shop staff. Today there's just a Paul Roberts car and a fireman -who does walk around with helmet and hi-viz clothes with identification details, the way we think everyone should dress.
There's also a command unit with a CCTV camera to the top and a satellite uplink pointing towards something in geostationary orbit above Africa.
The odd thing is everyone assumes at first that the troubles have come up from Stokes Croft -an eviction, another bank wrecked. But not today. It's worth visiting though, just see what Gloucester Road is really like when closed to traffic.
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