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Friday 22 August 2008 5.22pm
Just in case you fancied using it this weekend, Leake Street was blocked by authoritarian vandals again this evening.

Apparently, they'll be telling us when and in what direction we can walk down it all weekend, again.

Why doesn't Banksy f*** off back to Bristol and graffiti and disrupt his own neighbourhood?
Sunday 24 August 2008 9.07am
Get over Phil, life's too short.
Tuesday 26 August 2008 10.57pm
Phil, maybe Bristol would be more your scene - a little more sedate possibly?
Friday 10 October 2008 4.27pm
Apparently the artwork was 'refreshed' last weekend:

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Friday 5 December 2008 3.23pm
"How it squares with the borough's anti-graffiti policies is another matter and I'd love someone from that department to step forward and clarify their position with regards its merits."

Well: I am Lambeth StreetCare's Neighbourhood Supervisor for North Lambeth and I also have responsibility for street cleansing for the whole borough. I recently got in touch with Blank Expression which is the organisation behind the graffiti in Leake Street. I was concerned that people were painting on areas not designated for the purpose, and there was also a large amount of litter. They were employing cleaners to sweep the tunnel every Monday and Friday but I'm not sure this was happening.

Ownership of the road passed from Eurostar to British Rail Board (Residuary) in April. I am told that they will begin sweeping the tunnel daily from next week. Blank Expression have already greyed over the graffiti that was coming out of the tunnel so the York Road end is much better. They promise to do this regularly. They have an idea for a long-term project which I would support as it would involve someone being in the tunnel every day to manage activities there. With over 1000 artists having already registered to paint there, I feel it is important that there is some sort of ongoing management. Whatever happens, the graffiti is there to stay because in the eyes of the perpetrators Leake Street has become a 'designated area'. The council could try to enforce against the land owners and compel them to remove the graffiti but it would be back the next day. Better, I think, for us to leave Leake Street as 'Europe's largest urban art space' and make sure it stays in the tunnel and doesn't encroach onto Lower Marsh and York Road.

Graffiti does increase fear of crime and we work very hard to remove it as quickly as possible. However in this case I can see that there is more going on than mere mindless vandalism. I hope that people feel safe walking through Leake Street. It has certainly removed the problem of homeless people using the tunnel as a place to sleep - and as a toilet.

I'd love to hear what people have to say about this as well as other issues affecting local environmental quality in SE1. My email address is [email protected]
Friday 5 December 2008 3.52pm
JasonPrentis wrote:
I hope that people feel safe walking through Leake Street.

I have mixed views about the quality of the art displayed on Leake Street (particularly more recently) but I think everyone would have to agree that it generally feels safer than before the project started simply due to the fact that it is much busier now as it is practically a tourist attraction.

Your attitude to it seems fairly sensible to me.
Friday 5 December 2008 5.37pm
I would also question the quality of the art - mixed at best - but it's no harm to have a derelict tunnel emerge as a tourist spot.

Keep it up people
Sunday 8 March 2009 4.49pm
Does anyone know what the work in the arches south of Leake Street is about?

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Monday 9 March 2009 1.38pm
I was wondering about that myself but havent found out anything.

More generally the area is degenerating into a bit of a mess, I'm not sure whether the promised daily street-sweeping is happening because there always seem to be empty spray cans and other rubbish strewn all over the place.
Monday 9 March 2009 3.33pm
There is no 'art' left, all the original and interesting stuff has been covered over by standard issue 80's New York subway tags which are about as interesting as....err...watching paint dry.
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