Street graffiti will be treated with a “relaxed attitude" when the Tour de France visits Epping Forest.

Traditionally spectators write messages along the route during the race.

Essex County Council has said it will not condone the practice, but claimed its options are limited.
Gary Sullivan is chairman of Active Essex, which is involved in organising the Tour in the county.

Speaking at County Hall in Chelmsford yesterday, he said: “It is part and parcel of the event and if it happens here we will take a relaxed attitude towards it.

Essex highways officer, Liz Burr, said: “We do not condone anyone doing it but there is not a lot we can do about it.

“If it is done in chalk or washable material there shouldn’t be too much trouble with it, as long as it doesn’t obscure any important road markings.”

At the meeting it was also revealed no additional road maintenance would take place along the race route, but any planned works would be brought forward to be completed before July 7.