Transport authorities responsible for graffiti removal along the M4 have been urged to clean up their act, with a number of bridges and fences left defaced for weeks on end.
Penrith Councillor Marcus Cornish questioned how the State Government could spend billions to upgrade the motorway and “have it look like that”.
“I complained about it being on the railway bridge over the M4 and it progressively got worse and nothing was done,” he said of the bridge between Emu Plains and Lapstone.
“The bottom line is it’s the gateway to both the Blue Mountains and Penrith and it looks really bad, gives a bad image.”
Cr Cornish said the Russel Street bridge at the Emu Plains exit and the fence near Bunnings have also been targeted recently.
“Council gets graffiti off extremely quickly in Penrith, we do a great job,” he said.
“But the State Government is letting the side down.”
He claims graffiti should be cleaned up immediately to discourage vandals.
“The quicker it is cleaned off, the less likely it is to come back,” he said.
However, a Transport for NSW (TfNSW) spokesman said the graffiti was removed at these locations in April, but the structures were re-tagged within a week.
“TfNSW has a regular program of graffiti removal to ensure the safety and amenity of our infrastructure for all road users,” he said, adding it was planning to remove the new graffiti in “the coming weeks”.
The spokesman said offensive graffiti is usually removed within two to seven days, depending on the location, weather, and road conditions, while non-offensive graffiti (including tagging) is logged and removed as part of regular maintenance.
Sydney Trains is responsible for graffiti removal of the rail bridge over the M4 and told the Weekender on Tuesday it had recently removed the graffiti from that location.
“Cleaning graffiti across our network costs more than $26 million a year – taxpayer money that would be better invested elsewhere to improve the customer’s experience,” a Sydney Trains spokesman said.
“We work closely with NSW Police to stamp out these types of activities on our network.”
Marking property can attract fines of up to $440 in NSW, or for an aggravated offence, $2,200 or 12 months imprisonment.
Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Senior News Reporter, primarily covering courts and Council issues.