Graffiti putting Londoners off getting on their bikes

Charity Urban Eye has the answer

by Kevin Emery   October 29, 2009  


While Mayor Boris is promising a cycling revolution in London it would appear that one of the things putting off people getting on their bikes in the capital that he might not have been aware of is graffiti.

It’s a problem in London, as it is in most cities, but you wouldn’t have thought it might be having an affect on cycling. Urban Eye, a London community led environmental design charity, would beg to differ. Most graffiti is in run-down inner city areas which have been neglected and are therefore seen as unsafe to many.

Mark Moys, Projects Manager at Urban Eye said: “Graffiti is a significant problem in London. In a survey we carried out recently over half of those questioned (61%) said they would consider taking a cab rather than walking or cycling through neglected graffiti-ridden areas. Most of our respondents (83%) would avoid streets that they consider to be neglected."

Urban Eye is spearheading a new campaign to revive London’s neglected streets, based around the discovery that graffiti can be beaten. Their research has found that graffiti and fly-posting is most visually dominant on plain flat surfaces. By breaking up plain walls and surfaces with innovative public art, use of specialised materials and improved lighting, subsequent graffiti loses its impact.

One of Urban Eye’s main strategies is improved lighting to help increase pedestrian use and safety at remote locations.

The charity is using strategies to renew run-down inner city areas, creating a safer and more attractive environment for Londoners. It has already transformed and helped revive more than 34 locations, and some of London’s most desolate streets, by creating more attractive and popular spaces and by dramatically reducing graffiti.

Mr Moys added: “Working in partnership with communities and statutory organisations, Urban Eye has helped improve many dilapidated areas of London. In my view it’s time Londoners demanded better maintained and more welcoming streetscape environments!”

6 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

oh bollocks. i particularly like combining cycling and looking at street art.

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
29th October 2009 - 13:50


What? It sounds like yet another feeble excuse for not getting on two wheels.


posted by OldRidgeback [2580 posts]
29th October 2009 - 15:57


It's a personal safety issue - very important for perceptions of different transport - no much different to not wanting to sit on the top deck of the night bus on your own. Oh, and it helps if you consider women as 50% of the potential cyclists given this is more likely to affect them!

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [320 posts]
29th October 2009 - 16:47


Thought street art had been annexed by middle class Banksy wannabes- saw a graffiti artist on tv last night calling himself 'pure evil' although he looked like he worked in an office, dutifully recycled his empty spraycans and helped old ladies across the road. Plenty of real threats to worry about without sweating this.

posted by wild man [295 posts]
30th October 2009 - 12:18


Only in uber-middle-class Bristol and other such 'cultured' cities. Everywhere else it's still just crap.

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [320 posts]
30th October 2009 - 12:27


Doesn't explain why you can't move in the graffiti-festooned streets of Shoreditch and Hoxton for hipsters on their fixies Wink

I imagine most of those who responded would shudder at the thought of being in a run-down area in the first place - reminds me of the Catherine Tate sketch when the yummy mummy with the two posh kids takes a wrong turning in the car and ends up in "Totting-ham" Big Grin

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9507 posts]
30th October 2009 - 12:43