It’s free to pee!

End of the line for lavatory charges at major London rail stations

What a relief! Charges for toilets at all stations under the Network Rail banner have been dropped.

Last major stations to hold out (this story even lends itself to unintentional puns) were Kings Cross and Liverpool Street.

This is welcome news. Many is the time over the last couple of years that I have arrived at Kings Cross seeking relief only to be confronted with a 30p barrier.

A regular journey takes me from Peterborough to Kings Cross (a little less than an hour’s travel) and I don’t like using the toilets on the train (who does?).

If, on arrival, the urge was not too strong I would hot-foot it across to road to St Pancras station were the loos were/are free.

Failing that I would fork out the 30p – if I had the right money. In fairness, there was a change machine there but, when you are so keen to go that you don’t think you can make it to St Pancras, the last thing you need to be fiddling with is cash.

Had the barriers allowed contactless payments I would have happily complied. But let’s not give Network Rail any ideas. It’s free now. No more spending a penny (or 30 of them).

I’ve seen it reported that Network Rail collected £4.8m from the charges at all their stations combined in the last financial year.

There are loads of bad puns I could end this item with… but I’ll spare you.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past publications worked for include the South-East London Mercury*, Kent Messenger, Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor for an East Midlands-based publishing group.

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