By Chris Wright
Bristol City have become the first football league club to install new ‘rail seating’ which is hoped will be the design used at the forefront of the ongoing lobby to bring safe standing sections back into the English game.
The Robins are keen to redevelop Ashton Gate at the end of the season and have pressed ahead in fitting out their Williams Stand with a small demonstration section of rail seating – with the usual plastic seats able to be folded up and held in an upright position to create a terraced area for standing, complete with a hand-rail which also doubles as a frame for the seat itself.
— BBC Points West (@bbcpointswest) February 12, 2014
Robins fans won’t actually be allowed to use the seats as a standing section yet though, as standing is still outlawed by the FA’s post-Hillsborough legislation. However, it will be allowed to be used by fans of Bristol Rugby Club, who are moving in to ground-share with City in September of this year.
Meanwhile City, and the various campaign groups behind the push for the return of designated standing areas at English football grounds, are hoping that the rail seats at Ashton Gate may be in use for the start of next season – provided the various sanctions, laws and litigious bullet-points against it can be either rescinded or worked around.
There’s more on the legal tussle here should you wish to peruse it.