A dark and dingy bridge at a South Birmingham rail station has been lit up after getting a makeover - from a graffiti artist. A competition run by transport authority Centro challenged local pupils to design a mural to be brought to life on the footbridge at Kings Norton station.
Fourteen-year-old Adeela Ahmad of Kings Norton Girls School and Oliver Blackburn, of Kings Norton Boys School were the lucky winners who had their sustainable travel themed creations given the Banksy treatment.
And after two weeks working against the elements, local graffiti artist Daniel Lickiss, has left his mark on the bridge which connects the station’s two platforms.
Daniel said: “While I was painting the bridge some of the comments from people walking past were amazing. Everyone was really positive and people seem to agree that it’s much brighter and feels much safer to walk across now.
“I help run workshops in Cotteridge Park with children from the area, to show that graffiti used in the right way and in the right place can be a great creative outlet. The bridge is another example of this.”
The mural pictures Thomas the Tank Engine, creation of former Kings Norton resident Reverend Wilbert Awdry as well as people using green transport in the area. The designs have been coated in anti-graffiti paint to prevent damage.
The bridge was previously cast in darkness, leaving many passengers feeling uneasy about using this crossing between the station’s platforms.
But new lighting was installed as part of a package of improvements at the station last year including the installation of real time bus information, improved lighting, sheltered bicycle storage racks and CCTV.
Cllr Judith Rowley, Centro’s lead member for green and accessible transport said: “We are delighted with how the mural has turned out and that we were able to work with local pupils to create something so visually stunning.
“After the changes at the station last year it is great to add something a little bit different to help make the station a welcoming place for people travelling in and out of the area.”
The work has been supported by Birmingham City Council and Network Rail and follows a number of initiatives along the Pershore Road area as part of Centro’s wider £500,000 Travel Choices project. The initiative was aimed at increasing the number of people choosing to travel by sustainable modes of transport.
Residents were issued with personalised journey plans and experts working with local schools and businesses to help those in the area walk, cycle, catch the bus or train or car share to reduce traffic congestion.