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New Strand Benches Vandalised Within Weeks of Instalment

Strand benches with graffiti
Image taken on 14/03/2024

A new stretched seat feature, installed only this month, has already been defaced with bright red graffiti.

The new seats are part of the redeveloped Strand and are owned by Westminster City Council. The vandal’s image is about four feet high and faces the Strand/Waterloo bridge junction, one of the busiest intersections in London. There is no easily recognisable tag or name attached.

One student told Roar that “it’s a shame they spent so much time putting up these benches, only for them to be immediately defaced”.

The new benches were installed over a few weeks in early spring. The seating arrangements are unconventional, consisting of skate park-style ramps and banks in some places and incredibly low, stretched seats in others.

The area was only pedestrianised in early December 2022, after Westminster City Council originally proposed the £28 million plan in 2019.

However, the last few months have seen substantial disruption to the area, including the closure of the entire central section over concerns about falling masonry from Mary-le-Strand church. Reverend Canon Dr Peter Babington told Roar that he hopes that repairs will be completed and the area fully re-opened by the end of March.

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