Totnes in South Devon could soon be home to Europe’s first permanently painted rainbow crossing.
A pedestrian crossing, painted in rainbow colors to celebrate the LGTBI community, could be installed as early as this summer.
The town council gave their backing to plans presented by Proud2Be, a LGTBI group, to permanently paint a usable pedestrian crossing like the rainbow flag.
The group is claiming it will be the first to have a permanent crossing of its kind in Europe, joining Vancouver and West Hollywood.
Totnes is a market town in Devon with only around 7,000 residents. But despite its reputation for having a ‘bohemian’ lifestyle, that does not mean it’s easier for LGBTI people.
Twin brothers Mat and Jon Price, 31, are the founders of Proud2Be who are leading the project.
‘The truth is that many LGBT people, still face prejudice and discrimination on the streets, in their homes and at work,’ Jon said.
‘We believe the crossing will send out a message of hope to LGBT people all over the world that the community of Totnes stands with them.’
It would not be the first rainbow crossing for Totnes – a £400 ($612, â‚¬535) temporary crossing, drawn onto Totnes High Street for last year’s Pride event, lasted five weeks.
‘We welcome everyone to our town and situating it by the memorial would give us a rainbow "gateway" to the town centre,’ councillor Rosie Adams said.
‘Let’s be the first and welcome the world.’
The twins are now working on the basics – design, location and cost. They hope to gain planning permission from Devonshire County Council in time for the next Pride in September.
Last year’s temporary crossing was funded through an online campaign, which the Price brothers are hoping to use again as part of their effort to raise funds to paint the crossing.
Other cities, including German ‘gay capital’ Cologne and Tokyo had temporary crossings before. In August 2013, Stockholm installed a rainbow crossing in front of the Russian Embassy.