Mural cleans up Tarka Trail underpasses

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Mural cleans up Tarka Trail underpasses

Posted: 22/04/2008 12:44:05

Murals are being painted on the Tarka Trail underpasses near Taw Bridge in Barnstaple as part of a joint initiative to reduce graffiti incidents.

Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and North Devon College are working in partnership to create the artwork in an effort to clean up the routes.

North Devon College art students started work on the two Tarka Trail underpasses during half term. They will continue painting this week and today (Monday 21 April) they have been joined by Devon County Councillors Brian Greenslade and Chris Haywood who added a few brush strokes.

Devon and Cornwall Police Community Support Officer Tony Charles, said: "We're determined to reduce or even eradicate the amount of graffiti generally in Barnstaple, and it has been identified as one of our priorities in the Sticklepath beat area. A project such as this not only helps us to address one of the major concerns to the local community, but it also enables us to engage and work with young people, offering them the opportunity to take personal ownership. Not only do local residents use the underpasses but so do holidaymakers and for many of them this will be their first impression of our historic town of Barnstaple."

Councillor Margaret Rogers, Devon County Council Executive Member for Environment, said: "There are a number of subways in Devon with murals painted on the walls and in those areas it is proven that the incidence of graffiti attention is greatly reduced. Hopefully this scheme will have the same effect in Barnstaple and these routes will stay looking clean, bright and friendly to walkers and cyclists."

Councillor Brian Greenslade Devon County Council Leader and County Councillor for Barnstaple North, said: "We're pleased to be working in partnership on this with students and Police in the town. These murals will undoubtedly enhance the environment in the underpasses, and there could also be significant long term savings for the County Council in terms of maintenance."

Councillor Chris Haywood, Devon County Councillor for Barnstaple South, said: "It's a shame that the new Tarka Trail underpasses by the Taw Bridge have been hit by graffiti. Cleaning this up will prove to be very time consuming and costly, so it is a great idea to get the College art students involved in paintings murals on the walls."

Art students at North Devon College are reproducing artwork they designed themselves.

Colin Wright, Section Leader for Art and Design at North Devon College, said: "It's a great opportunity to legitimise these street art skills by producing work which is commissioned through the conventional processes for public art. As a college we're community minded and what's most important here is to both improve this space visually as well as helping to prevent further graffiti."

The Barnstaple Long Bridge underpass walls and ceilings will also be refurbished as part of the scheme.

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