COUNCIL workers will return to a road where anti-Islamic graffiti messages were written after initial attempts to remove them failed.

The graffiti was written among supportive messages aimed at competitors taking part in the Ironman contest on Rivington Road in Chorley.

It is now thought that the offensive graffiti was written before the race, with several athletes reporting seeing it as they cycled over the route.

Lancashire County Council, which manages the roads in Chorley, sent contractors to remove the graffiti last weekend, but initial efforts did not work.

Local resident Craig Rotherham, aged 46, said: “I came across a highways lorry with an industrial jet wash attacked to the back, but not even an industrial pressure washer made any impact on the graffiti — if anything they have made it look worse.”

Andrew Burrows, from Lancashire County Council, said: “We had cleaned off the offensive graffiti paint, but unfortunately, some of the words can still be seen in the now clean outline from where the letters have been removed on the road surface.We’ll carry out some further work to ensure the offensive words cannot be made out.”

Mr Rotherham, who lives in Belmont, said: “I asked the workman if they would be removing the rest of the graffiti. The reply I was given was that they were only going to remove the ‘offensive’ graffiti.

“Obviously the opinions of those who love this beautiful area are to be ignored.”

Mr Burrows added: “There are other none-offensive painted messages in support of Ironman competitors on some roads too.

“However, we won’t be removing these because the road surface gets damaged by the cleaning process.

“The paint and chalk will wear off over time due to weathering and being worn away by car tyres — under no circumstances should people put themselves at risk and attempt to clean this paint off the surface themselves.”