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30 Jun, 2021 15:00

‘A new addition to the highwoke code?’: Bristol installs rainbow LGBT Pride crossing, critics dub it ‘waste of money’

‘A new addition to the highwoke code?’: Bristol installs rainbow LGBT Pride crossing, critics dub it ‘waste of money’

The city of Bristol, renowned for its ‘progressive’ moves, has caused a stir by installing a Pride rainbow crossing to honour the LGBTQ+ community, but some think it’s a big waste of money.

On Wednesday, Bristol City Council oversaw the implementation of its latest initiative to enhance the progressive image of the West Country hub. While the installation of its ‘Pride Rainbow Crossing’ is unlikely to improve traffic flow, it’s certainly got people talking on social media.

A BBC Bristol video shows council workers painting the multicoloured stripes on Wine Street, in the city centre. 

Despite the council’s positive intentions, the colorful addition sparked anger on Twitter, with many calling it a “total waste of money.” 

“Glad I’m not paying for this s**t,” one non-Bristol resident said.

Another argued that the crossing would be a liability to maintain, writing, “The paint cost alone is over £100 per tin per colour and it won’t last 18 months with road traffic. It’s an eyesore and not inclusive.”

One person, clearly not enthused by the initiative, said the first person to leave skid marks on the crossing would be a “hero”, while another joked that it was the latest “addition to the highwoke code”. 

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It wouldn’t be the first time a rainbow crossing has been vandalised. Earlier in June, an American was charged with doing a “burnout” on just such an intersection in his white Chevy truck while flying a flag showing support for former US president Donald Trump. 

Others jibed, “Bristol has always been a weird place” – seemingly a reference to the city’s reputation as a hub of progressivism.

One person suggested police horses might be spooked by the crossing, sharing a video from Sheffield in 2020, in which one horse can be seen swerving onto the pavement while a second nervously trots over the crossing. 

Critics aside, there were many positive responses. Some called it “stunning” and “fabulous” and praised the council for promoting inclusivity. Others even said their own city should follow in Bristol’s footsteps. 

One person said he was a “big fan”, sharing a photo of himself standing on the crossing.

The West Country capital is known as one of the UK’s most progressive or ‘woke’ cities, with the council running several initiatives to promote the LGBTQ+ community as well as the BLM movement.

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