Wimbledon Chase Railway Bridge Success: Graffiti Cleared!

Caroline Pidgeon (centre) investigates the bridge back in 2009. The graffiti has now gone!

Welcome news that one of our original “six to fix” has been fixed!

The Messy Train Land Blog was pleased to receive the following press release from London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon yesterday afternoon:

After years of pressure from Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon, Network Rail has finally agreed to repaint parts of the railway bridge at Wimbledon Chase station in order to cover up the offensive and antisocial graffiti on the bridge.
In a letter from Network Rail’s Chief Executive David Higgins to Caroline Pidgeon, the company has promised to repaint the four corners of the bridge to help improve its appearance.
Caroline Pidgeon AM said:
“After years of campaigning on the issue of the unsightly graffiti on Wimbledon Chase Bridge, I am delighted that Network Rail has finally seen sense and is going to make much needed improvements by cleaning up the bridge.
“I have visited the bridge and spoken to local residents and business owners, who all agree that the graffiti has had a negative impact on the local area.”
The Dundonald Lib Dem team have been lobbying Network Rail to clean up Wimbledon Chase Railway bridge since January 2009.
On seeing that Network Rail had now removed the graffiti, Wimbledon Chase resident and local campaigner Anthony Fairclough said:
“It took a lot of pressure and more than two years’ effort to get them to agree to this one simple improvement. If we hadn’t constantly hassled Network Rail and the Council – would it have happened at all?“We need a straightforward way of reporting these kind of problems and then action from the people who’re responsible. You shouldn’t need to be a transport expert to get rubbish and graffiti removed near where you live, just because it happens to be on railway land or structures.”

A two year campaign: a potted history

Wimbledon Chase bridge: worst grafitti cleared.

Caroline & the Wimbledon team celebrate bridge success.

  • 29 January 2009: First email sent by A. Fairclough to Network Rail (‘NR’) about the state of Wimbledon Chase Railway Bridge.
  • May 2009: Following several emails, initially looks like NR are indicating they will repaint parts of the bridge.
  • August 2009: Visit by Caroline Pidgeon, Lib Dem London Assembly Member.
  • August 2009: The Conservative MP for Wimbledon submits a 700+ strong petition about the bridge to NR. However, no action is taken by NR.
  • November 2009: NR tell Caroline Pidgeon that the bridge is too expensive to repaint.
  • July 2010: Caroline asks Boris if he will help (No!).
  • August 2010: Caroline lobbies ministers (1).
  • August 2011: Caroline lobbies ministers (2).
  • September 2011: A. Fairclough seeks advice from CPRE and London Travel Watch. Armed with advice from them on how Merton Council could enforce Network Rail’s removal of the grafitti, he contacts Merton again and asks them if they will try (which they agree).
  • 7 October 2011: Caroline’s final letter to NR’s chief exec, referring to the action Merton is now taking.
  • 26 October 2011: Reply from NR’s chief exec, David Higgins: “On receipt of your letter, we visited the bridge . . . . we agree that the bridge could benefit from aesthetic works. Regrettably, we do not have the funding to completely repaint the bridge. However, we will repaint the four corners of the structure which should help improve its appearance”.
  • 28 October 2011: graffiti on bridge painted out.
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Posted on 28/10/2011, in London Assembly, Network Rail, Wimbledon Chase. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Excellent! As an occasional visitor to the area, glad to hear of your success.

  2. Great news, I’ll have to remind my friends in the area exactly who was responsible for getting them to clean up. Keep up the good work.

  3. Great news! Why is it like banging your head against the wall with these distant bureaucracies?
    P.S Who’s the other guy in the photo?

  4. Messy Train Land Blogger

    Thanks all – it is indeed like banging your head against a brick wall. These things shouldn’t be as complicated as they are!

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