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Giant water slide to be created in central Bristol

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Commuters in central Bristol will be able to park and slide this summer, if an ambitious crowd-funding project gets its way.

In one of the best initiatives of its kind (right up there with London's first cat cafe), the 90-metre giant water slide is set to be laid out on Park Street - one of the city's busiest thoroughfares - on Sunday 4 May.

The idea is the brainchild of artist Luke Jerram, who has tested the concept in a mock-up at Brisol's Ashton Court estate and needs £5,621 in donations to make it a reality.

"It was sort of inspired by the heatwave last summer. Because I have an office on Park Street it got me thinking last year," he told the Bristol Post. "I’m just interested in thinking about our city in different ways. If you just imagine, you could put slides all around Bristol connecting neighbourhoods."

A mock-up of what the giant water slide will look like

Jerram, 39, previously created Play Me, I'm Yours, an installation of pianos across Bristol city centre which was later toured in cities around the world.

His slide will be made from plastic lining with soapy water running down between barriers on Park Street's steep incline. There will be barriers either side for spectators and it will be free to participate.

The slide will be erected on one of Bristol's busiest - and steepest - streets

"Bristol is also a good place to test these things out. To try and do this in London, for example, would be impossible," Jerram added. "Bristol has a sense of fun and is a creative place so it's perfect."

In fact, London has housed giant public water slides in the past - but only on an impromptu basis in parks and green spaces, like this "Splash-Mob" event on Primrose Hill in 2008 (where revellers brought their own soapy water and sheets for the 25-foot long slide):

Revellers on London's Primrose Hill

In 2012 design practice Y/N Studio floated the idea (s'cuse the pun) of a London "LidoLine" where commuters could travel to work by transforming the capital's canals into a wild swimming network. There would even be "stations" with changing rooms and lockers along the way.

The idea never really took off but if the giant water slide concept did ever come to London - or any other cities, for that matter - we'd love it to look a bit like this inspired advert from Barclays:

)

In the meantime (and back to reality), the Bristol water slide idea continues apace - Jerram has so far raised £3600 in project management funds towards its creation. Details and further donations can be made at his fundraising website Spacehive.

Words: Anna Brech, Photos: Luke Jerram, Rex Features

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