/ Travel & Leisure

Are free station toilets meeting their Waterloo?

Characters desperate for toilet

Should we really have to pay to pee in station toilets? Quite a few trains now don’t have loos on board, so can operators really justify charging us to relieve ourselves after a long, and possibly stressful, train journey?

I get the train into the recently-revamped St Pancras station every morning. Lucky me, because if I need to use the toilets I don’t need to spend a penny.

Not so for commuters arriving just over the road at King’s Cross. They have to pay 30p, and the loos were pretty pungent the last time I paid a visit.

I don’t know about you, but I think station toilets should be free to use. It’s not like you haven’t already paid enough for your rail fare. And what with the inevitable train delays, not to mention the sorry state of on-train bogs – coughing up to use the loos feels wrong.

There’s an added complication. Say it’s late, all the shops are shut and you’re out of cash. What do you do then? At some stations, such as King’s Cross, you could use a change machine to get enough 10p pieces to put through the turnstile slot, but it’s a bit of a liberty.

And let’s face it, what expense have the operators gone to – installing the barriers, cash machines and so on – just to get your small change?

Rail firms should treat their customers better, instead they are taking the (30) p. That’s not customer service, let alone a convenience.

Radical says:
28 July 2015

The whole concept of having to pay in a toilet for a perfectly normal function is abhorrent. I refuse under any circumstances to pay their ridiculous charges often crossing the road outside to the nearest hotel and availing myself of their facilities on principle, why should some greedy profiteering business get my well earned money purely to say that their toilets are cleaned which I have on good authority that they are not, merely to make them look as if it is for a service rubbish total rubbish and if there is not a hotel in sight then I use my skill in going somewhere quiet and unobserved, this charge should be abolished and unless it is I will never endorse using fee paying toilets in stations never never ever !!!!!!!

Harvey says:
11 September 2015

If you’re tall just step over the barrier. If I get stopped I just explain how much my ticket was and I don’t have any small change anyway but I still need to go… the trouble is is that once something becomes the norm people just accept it no matter how much of a liberty it is.

I don’t mind paying 30p to use the station toilets, provided they are kept clean, everything works, and there are no unsavoury goings on. In the days when the toilets at terminal stations were free of charge the amount of abuse, misuse, vandalism, loitering, and prevailing disrepair of facilities was dreadful. Now at the London terminals that I use the situation is much improved. I dislike using the toilet on the train because they are usually in a bad state and there is always something not working properly so arriving at the station is a relief.