You'll No Longer Have To Pay To Pee In Train Stations From April 2019

It's been announced that Network Rail will scrap charges for using its toilet in all its stations from April 1 2019 according to the BBC.

The announcement was made as the rail giant also revealed the amount of money it gathered from charging people to use its bathrooms fell by 33% from 2017-18.

Credit: Unsplash/dareen
Credit: Unsplash/dareen

Their latest statistics show that nine Network Rail-run stations across the UK made a combined £3.1m in the last year, which is down from £4.8m from 2016-17.

The top-grossing stations include London stations Euston at £621,092, Kings Cross at £450,618, Paddington at £409,229 and Liverpool Street at £407,204. However Edinburgh Waverley came out top at £1.43 when it came to 'income per 100 station entries from 2017-18'.

This follows shocking news last year which revealed that Network Rail had collected a staggering £41m since 2007 from passengers using its pricey toilet facilities.

Credit: Unsplash/gillesdesjardins
Credit: Unsplash/gillesdesjardins

The announcement comes on the day that charges for toilet facilities were dropped at busy Liverpool Lime Street in London, Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds. Their facilities are now free to use.

This announcement follows similar moves at Birmingham New Street, London Bridge, Victoria and Charing Cross stations where the changes - which go as high as 50p - have been dropped.

The decision to stop asking people to pay at these stations appears to have caused a drop in annual revenue for National Rail.

The costs of cleaning and maintaining toilets at a selection of 20 Network Rail stations will be included in the firm's next financial budget.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said that the decision to make the toilets free to use was "part of drive to make our stations more friendly, accessible and open to the people who use them every day."

Last year, nine train stations in England and Scotland: King's Cross, Euston, Waterloo, Liverpool Street and Paddington - all in London - as well as Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central across the UK charged rail passengers between 30p and 40p to use its toilet facilities.

Credit: Unsplash/Michael Jasmund
Credit: Unsplash/Michael Jasmund

The combined £3.1m received by the stations (except Waterloo whose revenue goes to South Western Railway) is down compared to the £4.8m made in 2016-17. This a further drop from the 2015-16 period, in which £5.4m was collected.

It is a move which Network Rail CEO Mark Carne said he wanted to spread across the whole UK network. He agreed in March it's: "quite wrong to penalise people when they are in discomfort".

"Train stations should provide public services and be treated as a hub of the local community - not as places to extract extra profit from passengers," explained Emily Yates, of the Association of British Commuters.

Network-Rail run stations including Bristol Temple Meads, Guildford, Clapham Junction, London Cannon Street, Reading and London St Pancras do not charge passengers to use their facilities.

Featured Image Credit: Adrian Naranjo

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