Network Rail carries out £2m spring clean to clear graffiti

The work included thousands of graffiti tags being removed across the West Midlands over the past 12 months.

11 April 2022

A £2 million spring clean has tackled the “eyesore” of graffiti on Britain’s railways.

Network Rail said its teams removed and painted over graffiti at hotspots and applied anti-graffiti paint to deter people from targeting the same areas in future.

It described graffiti as “an expensive and dangerous problem”.

Graffiti being removed from Burley Park station in Leeds
Graffiti was removed from Burley Park station in Leeds (Network Rail/PA)

More than 450 sites in south-east London were cleaned, including central London’s Hungerford Bridge – which crosses the River Thames from Charing Cross station – and the Bermondsey dive-under in the south east of the capital.

Thousands of graffiti tags have been removed across the West Midlands over the past 12 months, most recently from routes approaching Birmingham New Street station, and in the Stechford and Sutton Park areas.

This is ahead of Birmingham hosting the Commonwealth Games this summer.

Graffiti was also removed from a footbridge in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, at Burley Park station in Leeds and a road tunnel in Wigan, Greater Manchester.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We have a wonderful and historic railway in Britain with engineering marvels spanning back to Victorian times, but all too often it is blighted by unsightly graffiti and vandalism which is an eyesore for our passengers and railway neighbours.

“Our teams have been working extremely hard to remove graffiti and to make the railway more inviting.

“This is no easy task and cannot be done overnight but I know that this investment will make a real difference to communities and our passengers across the country.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “A railway journey offers the chance to take some time out, sit back and enjoy the view.

“So it’s a shame to have it spoilt by unsightly graffiti.

“I’ve asked Network Rail to tackle this problem and they are working hard to remove these eyesores, making our railways and surrounding areas more appealing and welcoming for all.”

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