Wednesday 24 Mar 2004


Region & Route:
| Southern: Wessex
| Southern
Network Rail today announced details of a £652,000 graffiti and litter clearance programme for the Wessex rail network. The programme will tackle unsightly graffiti and litter on rail routes in areas identified by Network Rail over the next twelve months.  Specialist contractors will work to clear fly tipping, litter on the tracks and graffiti from railway infrastructure in Surrey and Hampshire and parts of Berkshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset Illegal dumping of rubbish on railway land, particularly embankments, is a major headache for Network Rail. It poses a potential hazard to the safe running of the railway if any objects fall on the tracks, encourages vermin such as rats and spoils the local environment. Network Rail regularly has to deal with objects as large as beds, refrigerators and bicycles, any of which could have severe consequences to railway safety and can delay trains. Graffiti perpetrators not only pose an obvious anti-social nuisance but also regularly endanger their own lives and those of others when they stray onto the railway line to carry out their mindless acts of vandalism. Every year there are cases of so called  ‘graffiti artists’ being killed or seriously injured whilst trespassing on railway infrastructure. The costs of cleaning up graffiti are enormous and unsightly scrawl may never be eradicated completely, often leaving permanent scars on the railway environment This is vital funding which has to be diverted from our commitment of rebuilding Britain’s railway.  It is an offence to drop litter on, or to graffiti railway property and Network Rail will fully support any prosecution against offenders. Any acts of rail crime can be reported, confidentially to the British Transport Police 0800 40 50 40, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Robin Gisby, Regional Director, Network Rail said: “We recognise that the visual impact of our infrastructure is important for both passengers and our lineside neighbours.  This graffiti and litter clearance programme will deliver significant improvements, creating a more pleasant environment for local communities. We would appeal to local people to remain vigilant and let us know when an area has been fly tipped. By working together with the local community, Network Rail can tackle these problems and create a safer, cleaner, greener railway.”

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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