Tuesday 12 Apr 2022
Graffiti and fly-tipping hotspots targeted in major railway spring clean
Communities across the West of England and Berkshire will now benefit from a tidier, more welcoming railway following the removal of graffiti and rubbish from 36 key hotspots across the region.
Over the past couple of months, Network Rail’s teams across the country have been working to freshen up Britain's railway in the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year with more than £2m of funding being used to target the removal of unsightly graffiti which blights infrastructure.
Across Network Rail’s Western route – which covers the railway and towns and communities between Penzance and London Paddington – a clean-up of 36 hot spots has been completed.
Graffiti has been removed from a number of sites across the West of England and Berkshire including Redland station, Victoria Park and St Luke’s Road in Bristol, Corston viaduct between Saltford and Bath, and Horseshoe bridge in Reading, while large amounts of fly-tipped waste has been removed from a number of areas including Keynsham and St Annes Park in Bristol.
Rail workers have cleared bags of waste and used pressure washers and wire scrubbing brushes to remove stubborn spray-painted tags, applying anti-graffiti paint where possible to deter people from targeting the same areas in future.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail Western route and strategic operations director, said: “I’m really pleased with the improvements we’ve made in cleaning up the graffiti and fly-tipping hotspots identified on the railway across Western route.
“Graffiti and fly-tipping make the railway look untidy for passengers and those who live nearby. We want to make sure that everyone feels safe and welcome on the railway, which is why targeting these sites for a spring clean was so important.
“We’ll continue to work with our colleagues at the British Transport Police and the Department for Transport to tackle this issue and identify the most heavily affected parts of our network.”
British Transport Police Inspector Jon Dando said: “The cost of cleaning graffiti is enormous - money which could otherwise be invested back into the network. It also causes significant disruption to services and inconvenience to passengers as trains are taken out of service to be cleaned.
“Graffiti on the railway is also incredibly dangerous, often involving trespassing onto the tracks, which can result in tragic consequences or life-changing injuries.
“If you notice anyone acting suspiciously or vandalising the railway, you can easily report it to us by discreetly texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.”
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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.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.