First rail seats in the UK installed in Bristol
February 12th 2014. A red letter day for rail seats and safe standing. The first ever block of rail seats in the UK is unveiled at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate Stadium. Small, but perfectly formed, the block will be used for demonstration purposes to show interested parties what rail seats are and how they can be used.
Bristol Sport, which is redeveloping Ashton Gate for use by both Bristol City and Bristol Rugby Club, is planning to incorporate two areas of rail seats in the remodelled stadium. Until such time as the rules on standing at football change, these will offer standing accommodation for rugby games only and be used as seats for football.
To explain these plans to key stakeholders, the media and the general public, Bristol Sport has installed 3 rows of rail seats, totalling 33 in all, in one self-contained corner of Ashton Gate (now ‘out of bounds’ for football). The installation was filmed and a timelapse recording of the 6-hour process was viewed over 5,000 times within the first 24 hours of the official unveiling by John Leech MP, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on culture, media and sport.
A further 5-minute video was also made for seating manufacturer Ferco Seating, explaining the technical aspects of the installation process. It also points out that three rows of seats have three different rail heights, i.e. 800, 950 and 1100mm, in order to promote debate about the most appropriate height for the rail integrated into this new form of stadium seating.