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Bristol City begin to install safe standing areas at ground

League One Bristol City plan to become the first club in the United Kingdom to install rail seats, which have been pioneered in the German Bundesliga. The seats can either be unlocked or locked to create a standing or seated area inside a stadium.

Regulations currently prohibit their use in football, so they will initially be used for rugby games at Ashton Gate.

Standing is currently allowed in Leagues One and Two, but Championship grounds must be all-seater after a club have played in the second tier for three seasons.

City intend to install the new seating in two stands as part of the redevelopment of Ashton Gate.

A demonstration block was unveiled in front of dignitaries from the Football Association and Football League on Wednesday.

"It's a big moment for the football community as a whole," said Martin Griffiths, chairman of Bristol Sport, who are overseeing the development of Ashton Gate.

He told BBC Radio Bristol: "The way rail seating has been implemented on the continent has made standing safe in the eyes of the football authorities over there.

"All we've done here is try and give the standing debate a tangible form. We've built some rail seating so people can have a look and form their own views.

"This has come from consultation with the fans. The fans have said they want to stand - at football and rugby - and we've responded to that."

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Dave Williams

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