GRAFFITI has been left in a Colchester underpass for months – because the passage was originally painted in the wrong colour.

Essex County Council paid to refurbish the underpass, between Tufnell Way and Cymbeline Meadows, using contributions from a developer.

But the cream-coloured walls have become covered in graffiti which has been left untouched for months.

Martin Goss, councillor for Mile End, said after weeks of investigating he had discovered Network Rail, and not the county council, was responsible for maintaining the underpass.

But he said Network Rail had so far refused to clear the mess, because the firm only normally paints over graffiti in dark colours, which hide it better.

Because the graffiti was not seen as offensive, a temporary agreement was reached to leave it there for the time being.

Mr Goss said: “The whole thing has been a complete mess and so much time and money has been wasted on what is a very simple project.

“I think my mum has offered to project manage it next time as she could do a better job.”

Network Rail spokesman Russell Spink said: “It is Network Rail policy to paint over graffiti in standard dark colours that are best able to conceal graffiti underneath.

“Unfortunately, these do not match the lighter colour scheme chosen by Essex County Council for the tunnel.

“We are currently in discussions with the council and hope to reach an agreement shortly which will see the graffiti removed and the affected areas repainted to match the existing colour scheme.”

County council spokesman James Henderson said: “Essex County Council is aware of the situation at the underpass, which is now the responsibility of Network Rail. We are in discussion with them and are confident it will be resolved.”