Two weeks ago, users of a York footbridge were surprised and delighted to find it had been transformed into a giant artwork.
Suddenly the rather soulless Love Lane bridge across the railway line was decorated by swooping mallards, bluebells and reeds.
Yesterday, those same bridge users were angered and dismayed to see that a vandal had daubed graffiti over the mural.
The artwork – an imaginative attempt by Network Rail to try to deter graffiti taggers – had stayed untouched for just 16 days.
One of those to discover the graffiti was local resident Chris Inns. “My heart just sank,” she said.
“Some graffiti is really good. And, and if it’s good on the eye, then that’s fine.
“But when they’re just putting tags on, and big things that you don’t really understand what they are, then it’s not good.”
Paul Rutter, director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “It’s absolutely appalling that Love Lane footbridge in York has been targeted with graffiti yet again, just two weeks after the fantastic artwork was completed.
“After painting over graffiti on Love Lane bridge multiple times, we worked with artist Emma Garness, as well as the East Riding Voluntary Action Services (ERVAS), to brighten up the bridge which has been a hotspot for the crime.
“Instead of the striking mallard ducks inspired by Hob Moor nature reserve, people in the community are once again faced with the awful mess.
“Cleaning graffiti costs millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money and uses valuable time, which could be much better spent on improvements to the railway.”
Anyone with any information following this incident can call North Yorkshire Police on 101 and quote the number NYP 24/03/21 – 0068. If you see someone graffitiing on the railway, please report it to the British Transport Police by calling 0800 40 50 40 or texting 61016