Utility companies have a duty to tackle graffiti – John McLellan

Utility companies are hardly everyone’s favourite businesses; when they are not sending you eye-popping bills, you don’t need a maths degree to understand they’ve got your road dug up again, or your bus is sitting for ages at four-way temporary traffic lights with no work going on.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 7:00 am
Graffiti in the London Road area of Edinburgh (Picture: Ian Georgeson)

But full marks to ScottishPower for the work they have done to repaint all their utility boxes along London Road, where every surface seems to be defaced with graffiti meaning nothing to anyone but the perpetrators.

Maybe it won’t be long before the vandals are back, but at least the company has made an effort to take responsibility for their property and improve the look of the area.

The council usually gets the blame for not cleaning it up, but the council is only responsible for its own property and it’s the owners’ responsibility to maintain the buildings and equipment that belong to them.

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It’s not only utility companies who are usually slow to respond, but the owners and vendors of disused property for sale who give up any pretence at maintenance other than to black out offensive words. The junction with Clockmill Lane brings down the whole area yet it is a gateway to the city centre.

Edinburgh North-East police have put out an appeal for information about tags in the area, but the most effective answer seems to be repeated cleaning or painting so the vandals get bored and give up.

Companies must accept that ignoring the problem just makes people think that no one cares.