Network Rail scraps loo charge at London Victoria after flushing out £1.4m for the year in toilet takings

Rebecca Smith
No need to resort to desperate measures as the 50p charge has been scrapped at Victoria
No need to resort to desperate measures as the 50p charge has been scrapped at Victoria (Source: Getty)

It's victory for those frustrated by having to spend a penny at rail stations - particularly suffering Southern commuters waiting around for delayed trains.

For Network Rail has now ditched its toilet charge at London Victoria and Charing Cross stations.

Read more: Taking the piss: How Network Rail is cashing in on the Southern strikes

Earlier this month City A.M. revealed that Network Rail was making 67 per cent more on its toilet in Victoria due to the Southern strikes. It owns the loos in Victoria station and takings hit £1.4m for the year. One visit set back passengers 50p compared to 30p at Euston and Paddington.

Network Rail said then Victoria station toilets had "undergone a huge refurbishment recently" so sparkling new facilities were on offer including a full-time toilet attendant and showers to boot.

But now the company's had a change of heart.

A spokesperson 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."

It brought them into line with London Bridge and Cannon Street, which the spokesperson said had not charged since the new concourse opened in the former's case, and the latter hadn't charged for some years.

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The company rakes in £5.4m a year from rail passengers paying to use the main station toilets. Last year, Victoria proved the most lucrative, followed by Euston which notched up £760,000, Kings Cross on £620,000 and then Paddington on £475,000.

These are all among the busiest stations in Britain too: Victoria is second only to Waterloo, with Euston, King's Cross and Paddington all featuring in the top 10 for passenger numbers.

But don't get too comfortable with the change yet - Network Rail's spokesperson said the firm was monitoring the impact closely.

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.

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