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Council ‘secures’ Bristol’s Bearpit roundabout from squatters

The Bearpit roundabout in the centre of Bristol. Credit: ITV News West Country

Bristol City Council says it has “secured” the city’s notorious Bearpit roundabout following weeks of occupation by squatters.

Police cordoned off the space, which is officially called St James Barton roundabout, yesterday afternoon (June 18).

According to Mayor Marvin Rees, the intervention was in response to squatters who had created “a toxic and dangerous environment”.

Police moved in to the Bearpit on June 18. Credit: ITV News West Country

He said their presence in the roundabout had “negatively” impacted local traders and left members of the public too afraid to walk through.

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said following the intervention of the police, the squatters had left of their own accord.

Following escalating crime, anti-social behaviour and a concern for public welfare in the Bearpit, the council has secured the area, with support from the police.

People squatting in the bus and containers left of their own accord and are continuing to be offered support from homeless outreach workers.

– Bristol City Council spokesperson

The spokesperson added contractors are now working to remove structures and shipping containers that have been left in the Bearpit by previous tenants.

Why the squatters occupied the Bearpit:

However, this does not include Ursa the bear - a popular sculpture that people have argued should remain in the Bearpit.

Pedestrians will not be able to use the Bearpit subways until this operation is complete however there are surface crossings for pedestrians across the roads.

– Bristol City Council