Community groups have come together to create a colourful mural on a bridge in South Wigston, in an effort to stop vandalism and people from trespassing on the train tracks.
Over the past two weeks, Katharine Wright, the mural’s artist from the Leicestershire Craft Centre, has been busy working her magic on the bridge at South Wigston station, alongside volunteers from Network Rail, East Midlands Railway, CrossCountry, Leicestershire County Council, Oadby & Wigston Borough Council, Wigston Academy, South Wigston High School, Glen Hills Primary School and Holmes Court and Holmes House care home.
The creation of the mural comes after a significant increase in trespass and vandalism in the area. It is hoped that this community-led project will improve wellbeing for passengers and those participating, as well as boosting the image of the station and enhancing passenger experience.
The decision to create this work also lies within research which suggests people are less likely to vandalise something in their local community if it has been created by local people and is something which is meaningful to them.
This artwork is relevant and meaningful to members of the community and uses things such as wayfinding, local landmarks, and the local history of the area, whilst still linking back towards sustainable travel and nature.
Yesterday (Monday, June 19) Steve Hopkinson, Network Rail’s Operations Director in the East Midlands, unveiled the bridge at South Wigston at a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“It has been brilliant to see members of the community come together for this project, we know the benefits art murals can bring and South Wigston station looks much better with a splash of colour,” he said.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in this fantastic project and I hope that the community enjoys the mural as much as we have enjoyed creating it.”
Oadby & Wigston borough councillor Carl Walter, who represents the South Wigston ward, said: “Extensive research supports the idea that people are less likely to vandalise something within their local community if it has been created by local individuals and holds personal significance to them. This art mural truly reflects the spirit and significance of our community, incorporating elements of wayfinding, local landmarks, and the rich history of our area. Additionally, it remains rooted in the values of our deep connection to nature.
“We extend our deepest gratitude to Network Rail, the Leicestershire Craft Centre, and all the community groups and individuals who have contributed their time, skills, and enthusiasm to bring this vision to life. It is through such collaborative efforts that we can foster a sense of pride and ownership within our community while promoting a safe and inviting environment for all.”