Bristol 'Bearpit' improvement work begins

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image captionThe Bearpit subway links Stokes Croft and Broadmead at St James Barton Roundabout

Work to improve pedestrian and cycle access around a "neglected" area of Bristol has begun.

It is part of a series of improvements to the "Bearpit" at St James Barton Roundabout, which links Stokes Croft and Broadmead in the city centre.

A new route will be built around the roundabout so pedestrians and cyclists can cross without using the steps and ramps for the Bearpit area.

Mayor George Ferguson said it would make the roundabout "safer for all".

Bristol City Council has worked with the Bearpit Improvement Group to design the scheme.

'Neglected and intimidating'

The work was approved following a public consultation in September 2012.

It will see the introduction of new traffic signals and alterations to pavements and islands on the Stokes Croft and Haymarket arms of the roundabout.

Mr Ferguson said the interchange could "often feel difficult to negotiate, neglected and intimidating".

After work is complete in September, an internal refurbishment of the Bearpit will be undertaken.

While the work is carried out there will be lane and subway closures, but the council said it would be phased so it remained possible to cross the roundabout in all directions.

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