‘Vandal-hit walkway should be art project’

Mess: Main image, the Moss Lane underpass was part of a criticised art project back in 2008
Mess: Main image, the Moss Lane underpass was part of a criticised art project back in 2008

Calls are being made for a vandal-hit walkway to be turned into a community art project.

The underpass which connects Moss Lane in Leyland to Wigan Road near Chorley is constantly targeted by youths who tarnish it with graffiti.

Now, after it was marked again last week, Moss Lane resident Andy Farrell has suggested it be used as an organised art base in an effort to deter the vandals.

He said: “If people are spending this much time ruining the underpass, why can’t they focus their energy on doing something positive for the community?

“The council and police say there are regular patrols down there and it keeps getting cleaned, but the youths just keep coming back.

“I think the best solution would be for a community art project to be set up down there.

“Younger children could draw up some designs and older youths could then do the work.”

The idea is one which Mr Farrell raised a few years ago, and some work was carried out between youngsters and a professional artist in 2008.

However, complaints arose after the children were given free reign to scrawl whatever they wanted across the walls as part of the project, and people said it looked just as bad as the vandalism.

The issues surrounding the underpass, which also include motorbikes and bicycles being ridden through it at speed, have been addressed as part of the council’s My Neighbourhood Forum for Leyland.

A new gate has been installed in an attempt to stop the bike problems, and a residents’ group has come together to meet up and talk about ways to improve the Moss Lane area.

Coun Matthew Tomlinson, chairman of the forum, said: “I’m sure the group and the Leyland My Neighbourhood Forum would be more than happy to look at constructive ideas for improving the area and the underpass.

“The Moss Lane issue is no longer a top priority for the forum anymore because the action points have been ticked off, but the residents’ group is still meeting and that will hopefully carry on the success of the forum.”