Transport written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Chair, Education & Skills Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport

(1) what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) Network Rail and (b) rail operators protect their (i) stations, (ii) tracks and (iii) rolling stock from graffiti;

(2) if he will co-ordinate a programme of cleaning graffiti from tracks, stations and rolling stock.

Photo of Tony McNulty Tony McNulty Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

Network Rail has responsibility for ownership and maintenance of the national rail network infrastructure, including the removal of graffiti. In 2003–04, £2.5million was allocated in Network Rail's Safety and Environment Plan to tackle environmental issues like graffiti, rising to £3.5million in 2004–05. Network Rail is also taking forward a number of partnership projects with local authorities in different regions to enable graffiti removal from roadside parapets and walls of Network Rail-owned bridges.

Train operating companies (TOCs) have responsibility for removing and preventing graffiti on those railway stations that are leased to them and on their rolling stock. The SRA's new franchising agreements contain key performance indicators in the areas of station security and the on-train environment. This further incentivises the prevention and removal of graffiti by train operating companies by tying the issue of cleanliness firmly to their profits. The SRA also encourages all train operating companies to seek accreditation under the Secure Stations and Secured Car Park award schemes. Such schemes have proven their value in reducing all types of crime, including the prevention of graffiti.

The Home Office's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit is taking forward a national action plan—'Operation Scrub-It'—aimed at developing initiatives to tackle graffiti. This is being taken forward in partnership with the British Transport Police, Crime Stoppers, Network Rail, London Underground and other transport providers.

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