UNSIGHTLY graffiti on the railway in Widnes has been removed as part of wider community clean up in Cheshire.

Network Rail was asked by Cheshire Police and Halton Borough Council to help spruce up a rootbridge over the railway line in the Bankfield Road and Grizdale area near Hough Green station.

It says that offensive tagging painted on the bridge has now been washed away, making the bridge more appealing for users.

And it has called for vandals to stop wasting taxpayer’s resources by graffitiing in the first place.

Allan Gibbs-Monaghan, infrastructure delivery manager for Cheshire and Merseyside at Network Rail, said: “Supporting Cheshire Police and Halton Borough Council’s local clean-up initiative is a win-win for everyone.

“It makes the area better for both residents and passengers, as we welcome them back in large numbers in the summer.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

“Our message to graffiti vandals is that the railway is not your canvas.

“Clearing up this criminal damage is a huge waste of taxpayers’ money, which could be better spent improving passenger journeys.”

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris MP added: “We have been clear that the blight of graffiti on our railways must be tackled, and I am delighted to see Network Rail continue to focus on dealing with the problem.

“Removing graffiti across the network will improve our railway and make stations and services more pleasant for passengers, as they return following the pandemic.”

Graffiti is a blight on the railway, and Network Rail spends £3.5million every year cleaning offensive material.

It is also extremely dangerous for those trespassing onto tracks to commit acts of vandalism, as well as being a criminal offence.

Incidents of graffiti can be reported to Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline on 03457 114141.