Park Street in Bristol was cleared of traffic and turned into a giant free ride. Residents were able to hurtle down the historic road a seven per cent slope on inflatable lilos on tarpaulin sheet lubricated with soapy water. The slide was approved by health and safety inspectors who tested a trial version last year.

The event was the idea of artist Luke Jerram, who specialises in ‘living’ installations and has an office on the street. He was inspired by the scorching weather last summer and hopes his latest work will lead Bristol’s residents to “reclaim the streets” and “have some fun”.

He said: “It’s going really well, it took a bit longer than anticipated to set up but it’s all up and running now. “There are people dressed up and for as far as the eye can see there are spectators which is unbelievable. “I was the first victim to go down the slide this morning and I went quite slow but it seems to be speeding up a bit now.

“To think 96,000 people applied for this, including people in Abu Dhabi, is breathtaking.” “Bristol was the perfect place to do it because it’s big enough to make it work but it’s not so big that arranging it becomes impossibly expensive or complicated.
“We’ve managed to make this slide out of everyday items you would find on the shelf, so the plan is we set up instruction packs so cities all over the world can have their own go.”

The slide, which was 90 metres long, was made of two rows of hay bales lined with a tarpaulin sheet sitting on a bed of foam matting to cushion the ride.

Luke, 39, tested a 50 metre version at the Ashton Court Estate on the outskirts of Bristol last October, where the relevant health and safety conditions were met. Until Sunday a full size version of the slide had not been created so the artist was a little apprehensive about the set up.

One user, Rondene Vassell, 17, from Bristol, said: “It was so surreal going down such a familiar street that is usually packed full of people and cars.”

Another, Stephanie Pye, 19, from Backwell, North Somerset, said: “I have been following the scheme from the start, when the petition went up online I must admit I was a little doubtful it would ever go ahead.

“To actually see it set up today was just amazing. It’s a shame not more people got to go down it, but it’s great so many people have turned up to enjoy the event.”

Courtesy: Mid-Day

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