A 60 foot long piece of graffiti that blights a view of Windsor Castle from a key access road into the town has finally stirred Network Rail into action - after months of demands.

The railway arches carrying trains between Windsor and Slough form a major part of the view of the castle enjoyed by drivers on Royal Windsor Way - but there have been growing demands for action to remove the graffiti that disfigures them. People regularly put life and limb at risk to scale the arches and leave their ‘artistic’ mark on it.

In the past Network Rail which manages the arches has insisted it cannot justify spending tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money to clean it off, unless the graffiti was obscene.

But in the last few days a 10ft high, 60 ft long spray painting of the word HELCH has proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The word has been appearing on sites across London, on the sides of railway and tube stations, derelict buildings and bridges over the M4, M1 and M25.

A spokesman for Network Rail said yesterday that action was already underway to remove it from outside the Queen’s windows.

He said: “We have already got onto a contractor to get the bridge cleaned as soon as possible.

“We have looked at previous calls for graffiti removal in the past and take each case on its own merits. But because of its size and prominence it has been agreed that this example has to come off.”

He said there was a serious side to the issue, adding: “We would say to people 'it is not worth risking your lives just to vandalise bridges or viaducts like this’.”