Graffiti can be a very divisive art form. When done well, it can look amazing. Similarly, when done poorly, it can be a real eyesore. A real hotspot for the poor kind is along railway lines, causing one company to take action. Network rail, in The West Midlands, has set up a Graffiti Hit Squad. This is to target what it describes as “vandalism” on the railway network in the region. The news was published on the 23rd August. This comes at a time when the UK is looking to open up the railways fully, and welcome back rail customers across the national network.

Network Rail and West Midlands Rail Executives are investing more than £700,000. This is to help clean up and remove graffiti from line-side areas and bridges. Many see this as unsightly vandalism, and not the art that some more famous graffiti artists might class it as. We're on the fence.

"Removing graffiti is an ongoing battle but we know the majority of people hate it as much as we do,” said Network Rail’s Allun Edge. “Trespassing on the railway to do it can also have fatal consequences and it’s simply not worth risking your life to spray a wall with a tag."

Those caught creating graffiti risk being prosecuted under the Criminal Damage Act 1971, although prosecutions are rare. However, for Network Rail, this seems to be a problem that just won’t go away.  

 According to some estimates, the UK annual costs for cleaning up graffiti is over £1 billion. The London Underground alone says it spends up to £12.5m a year to remove the Graffiti and to replace all the glass etched with graffiti. The local authority is usually responsible for the cost of removing graffiti from public buildings and BT, The Rail Network, Adshell or the utility companies are responsible for the cost of removing graffiti from their own property and buildings.  Network Rail reportedly spends £3.5m a year on removing graffiti from the rail network. After seeing how much it costs to clean up, we aren't on the fence anymore.

If you or your business has been the victim of unwanted graffiti, you have a couple of options available to you. Firstly, you can pay for a specialist cleaning company to remove the unwanted graffiti for you. In some serious cases, this could be your only option. Or, you can use the correct materials and clean the affected area yourself. This is where we come in.

One of the bestselling Graffiti cleaning products available is a specially formulated graffiti removal solvent by Tetrion. Branded as graffiti removal, it gives the impression that it's for large scale problems. However, it's also excellent at removing smaller ‘permanent’ marks. It's useful to have around the office for smaller mishaps as well as larger-scale Graffiti removal. We always have a bottle handy for any accidents involving permanent markers.