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Student News

Toilet fees have been WIPED at loads of major train stations

It's now free to pee at a whole host of stations.

train station toilet charges

Credit: Luke____s (background), AveNa (left), keerati (right) - Shutterstock

It's music to the ears of anyone who hates battling with train toilets: stations run by Network Rail will today stop charging passengers to access the toilets.

After a 33% drop in the number of people using train station toilets last year, the decision has been made to scrap the charge on 1st April 2019 (this isn't an April Fools, we promise!).

If you ask us, it’s about time the charges were cut. Since 2007, Network Rail has made a whopping £41m just from people paying to go to the toilet – hardly a surprise when some stations charge as much as 50p per person to access the loos.

Recent stats show that nine stations made a combined £3.1m in 2017/18 – clearly a lot of money made from a basic human right, but still significantly less than the £4.8m made in the previous year.

Which train stations now have free toilets?

train stations free toilets

Credit: chrisdorney - Shutterstock

Network Rail has a fair few stations around the UK, all of which now have free toilets!

Here's the full list of places where you no longer have to spend a penny to spend a penny:

  • Birmingham New Street
  • Bristol Temple Meads
  • Edinburgh Waverley
  • Glasgow Central
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool Lime Street
  • London Bridge
  • London Cannon Street
  • London Charing Cross
  • London Euston
  • London King's Cross
  • London Liverpool Street
  • London Paddington
  • London St Pancras International
  • London Victoria
  • London Waterloo
  • Manchester Piccadilly
  • Reading

How much did Network Rail make from toilet fees?

network rail toilet fees

Credit: Lukassek - Shutterstock

The amount made and charged by each Network Rail station varied, but last year nine of the stations in England and Scotland charged between 30–40p for one entry into their public toilets.

These were key stations used by many commuters and tourists every day, including major London stations like Euston, Waterloo, King’s Cross, Paddington and Liverpool Street, plus some of the busiest stations elsewhere, including Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central.

Last year, Euston made the most in total income last year out of all these stations, bringing in £621,092 from people using its toilets. King’s Cross, which made £450,618, was a distant second, followed by Paddington with £409,229.

Why have they scrapped toilet charges?

scrap toilet charges at stations

Credit: Objective Productions

A Network Rail spokeswoman said that the decision to make the toilets free is "part of a drive to make our stations more friendly, accessible, and open to the people who use them everyday".

She added:

This is part of a series of improvements we’ve been making, including the introduction of water fountains, more help points, massive investments into station facilities and improvements for disabled station users.

Mark Carne, Network Rail CEO, said in March that it was "quite wrong to penalise people when they are in discomfort".

This decision to stop charging customers for use of the toilet, which many stations have already implemented, has had an impact on Network Rail’s revenue.

The BBC understands that maintenance costs for the public toilets at 20 Network Rail stations will be included in their next financial budget, although we reckon the extortionate price of train tickets should probably cover the damage.

Saving money on travel

save money on travel

Credit: Bwark Productions

Rail travel can cost an absolute bomb, and depending on how far away your uni is from home (and how often you have to travel around the UK), it can really eat into your money. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks to help you save as much as possible on your train fares.

Firstly, if you don’t already have a railcard, get yourself one right now. It'll get a third off all of your train travel, and the savings mean it'll probably pay for itself within a couple of journeys!

Other tips include linking your railcard to your Oyster card to get money off travelling in London, splitting your fare, getting a refund on delayed trains, and checking whether Megatrain covers your journey (if they do, your journey could cost as little as 90p).

You can also save money on coach travel by getting a coach card, travelling off peak and keeping your eyes peeled for deals.

Finally, if you’re travelling further afield, travel insurance is super important as it'll save you money if your travel arrangements are cancelled by the operator. Remember, it doesn’t have to cost you much at all – you can cover yourself completely for less than £10!

After more travel tips? Check out our guide to the best student summer holidays – all for under £200!

Lucy Skoulding

WRITTEN BY Lucy Skoulding

Lucy Skoulding specialised in student news reporting while writing for Save the Student, sharing the latest data and top stories affecting our readers.
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