Anger over vandalism at Blackpool rail bridge

A graffiti attack on a new £6m bridge in Blackpool has caused anger and frustration.

Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2018, 2:46 pm
The graffiti on Crossley's bridge

The vandal struck at Crossley’s Bridge in Plymouth Road which underwent a demolition and rebuild as part of the £11.4m project to restore 10 bridges across the area.

The Layton bridge has been left with a distinctive graffiti ‘tag’ which has been seen in several other areas of town.

It can be seen from Layton station and residents are upset that it makes the area look shabby.

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The council has a team of workers who tackle such vandalism, but the attack has left local councillors dissappointed.

Coun Chris Ryan said: “It is senseless vandalism that is a waste of rate-payers’ money and council staff time who have to clean it up.

“It is particularly annoying as the bridge is fairly new too, and a lot of work went into its refurbishment.

“We have nothing against graffiti art, we have some spectacular examples in Blackpool but this is not one of them and makes the place look a mess.

“It is a shame we don’t have the beat bobbies that we used to have to keep these things in check, but the police do have a special unit for investigating these tags.”

Coun Christine Wright (inset) added: “It’s very disappointing.

“I am in the Friends of Layton Station and we could see this from the station side and reported it. We have seen this tag on a wall at the station too. The people who do this perhaps don’t think they are doing any real damage, but it makes the place look a mess and it costs the council to remove it.”

A council spokesman said: “We are aware of this and it will be cleaned up. It is unacceptable behaviour.

“We want everyone to be proud of our town and keep it free of such graffiti .

“We liaise with Lancashire Police to tackle such anti-social behaviour.”

A spokesman from Network Rail said: "Trespassing on the railway is extremely dangerous. Overhead wires and supporting steel masts deliver electricity to trains at 25,000 volts – an enormous, lethal amount of power that’s a risk to anyone who trespasses on the railway.

"Those intent on trespassing on railway property to create graffiti put their lives and the lives of others in danger. It is a criminal offence and carries a fine of up to £1,000."

Crossley’s bridge underwent a £6.1m refurbishment in 2017 as the deck structure was rotting and the bridge had to be raised to allow for the electrification of the Blackpool North to Preston rail line underneath.

It was closed to traffic from November 2016 to late April 2017 with vehicles diverted on the busy commuter route which links Blackpool and the M55 with Bispham, Cleveleys, and Fleetwood.

At the time Coun Fred Jackson, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways, said it was one of the most complicated highways projects the council had taken on.