The 50p charge to use the toilet facilities at Victoria station and Charing Cross has been temporarily suspended as a goodwill gesture to passengers enduring delays and cancellations over the past few months.
Further disruptions are also expect, since members of the drivers’ union Aslef plan to go on strike for three days, which would stop all Southern rail services.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Toilet charges in a small number of stations have been suspended. There are currently no plans to remove charges at other stations.”
Forced Time in Stations
Given the delays over the past few months, passengers have been forced to stick around the stations, using its facilities and increasing Network Rail’s earnings. As a goodwill gesture, Network rail has thus decided to temporarily suspend the toilet charges in both stations, especially given the upcoming delays due to expected strikes at some stations.
Another spokesman said: “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.”
In 2015, Network Rail released figures that showed passengers had spent £12.8 million at its stations’ toilets from 2012 to 2015. It had received £2.5 million in 2014, around £600,000 of those being from Victoria station.
“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 antisocial behaviour. Any money raised from the charges is reinvested into the railway and passenger facilities at our stations.”
A spokesman said: “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, so we are keeping an open mind. However, we do recognise that good customer service starts from the minute people walk into our buildings and we want them to feel welcome.”