Graffiti innovation trials

The challenge

National Highways is looking for new products to remove graffiti and prevent vandalism. As well as being unsightly, graffiti on bridges and next to roads can be distracting for drivers.

Removing graffiti often requires road closures and can cost up to £10,000 to remove one instance. Offensive graffiti has to be removed within 24 hours, disrupting traffic at short notice.

The competition

We carried out trials to find new products that will remove graffiti and also solutions that will prevent the vandalism appearing. We tested the products at an off-road site at Gravelly Hill Interchange in Birmingham.

Three products or methods were tested to help identify those that most successfully remove graffiti quickly and safely, whilst being eco-friendly. Three more go beyond the coatings we normally use to prevent graffiti appearing.

Graffiti innovation trials

We have worked with contractor Kier and Connected Places Catapult on the initiative. The aim of the trials is to evaluate the performance of newly-identified products and increase the range of solutions available to maintenance contractors.

The trials helped us gauge what further development would be needed to meet our required standards for approved use. We'll be offering participants advice from technical specialists to help with that development.

In addition to the trials, we are also running a competition to identify up to six new and innovative solutions focused on graffiti prevention and deterrence. We are currently looking at the entries to determine the most promising to be taken forward to the trials stage.

wall climbing robot
Pioneering ideas include wall-climbing robots, acoustic sensors and laser technology

Innovation theme