Friday 17 November 2017

Railway passengers flush as two major stations scrap 50p toilet charges

An 'out of order' notice pasted over a payment barrier at the entrance to toilets at Victoria Station in London, as toilet charges at the station have been scrapped. (David Arnott/PA Wire)
An 'out of order' notice pasted over a payment barrier at the entrance to toilets at Victoria Station in London, as toilet charges at the station have been scrapped. (David Arnott/PA Wire)
'Out of order' notices pasted over payment barriers at the entrance to toilets at Victoria Station in London, as toilet charges at the station have been scrapped. (David Arnott/PA Wire)

Toilet charges in two of London's busiest stations have been scrapped after passengers paid out thousands to spend a penny.

The 50p fee to use the toilet at Victoria Station and Charing Cross has been temporarily suspended, Network Rail (NR) said.

It is understood the halting of the charge is a goodwill gesture to passengers who have endured travel misery over the last few months.

Commuters face further chaos next week when members of drivers' union Aslef are set to stage three days of strikes which will halt all Southern Railway's services.

Figures released by NR in 2015 showed that travellers spent £12.8 million at its stations' toilets over the past three years.

The company made a profit of around £2.5 million in 2014, with over £600,000 from London Victoria.

A spokesman for NR said: "Toilet charges in a small number of stations have been suspended. There are currently no plans to remove charges at other stations.

"We do not profit from these charges. The small charge we make for using the toilets helps to maintain them and prevents misuse such as vandalism and other anti-social behaviour. Any money raised from the charges is reinvested into the railway and passenger facilities at our stations."

A spokesperson for the Network Rail South East Route said: "Network Rail South East Route, which manages London Victoria, London Bridge, Charing Cross and Cannon Street, has stopped charging passengers to use the toilets at Victoria and Charing Cross.

"This brings those stations into line with London Bridge, which has not charged since the new concourse opened, and Cannon Street, which has not charged for some years.

"It will take us some time to assess the impact of that policy with regard to cleaning and security, and the costs involved in keeping standards as high as our expectations.

"However, we recognise that good customer service starts from the minute people walk into our buildings and we want them to feel welcome."

Press Association

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