South Norwood's pedestrian subway was given a facelift and is being shown off by Croydon Council,, who arranged for local teenagers to cover the underpass with graffiti art.

The 300-yard long subway, which starts at Station Road and takes pedestrians beneath Norwood Junction station, is now covered by a series of cartoons and images produced in one weekend.

Val Shorecross, member of the GLA's anti-graffiti committee and a Norwood resident, visited the site on January 9 but the teenagers thought up ideas for the subway last October and worked with artist Darren Cullen to decorate it with positive artwork.

John Bonas, a spokesman for the council's Smarter Croydon initiative, said: "There has been a few acts of vandalism on the artwork but it's an area with a lot of graffiti vandalism.

"Darren will be visiting the site to tidy it up, keep the smaller tags away and hopefully over a period of time the number of offensive tags will reduce."

Smarter Croydon has six grafitti-busting teams working on a continuous cycle to clear every ward in the borough of graffiti every 53 days.

Mr Bonas added: "We intend to spend £300,000 on grafitti this year. We spent £1/4 million on it last year but we needed an extra team and extra equipment to work on the problem.

"That's not bad considering Croydon is the largest London borough. I know of one London borough that has spent more than half a million.

"We know for a number of reasons the war is being won because the feedback I get from the people on the ground is that whenever they return to a site there's less grafitti to clean up. Even the tags that are there seem to appear less often."

In the next six weeks Smarter Croydon's graffiti busters plan to create a mural inside Whitgift's pedestrian subway and are encouraging local businesses to incorporate their logos into the design.