A decision by Southern Railways to remove the toilets from its Brighton-Portsmouth trains has been described as “a disgrace”.
Having no such facilities on the service, with journey times of up to an hour and 25 minutes, will especially impact people with continence problems, as well as those with other vulnerabilities.
A spokesman for the Age UK charity, which offers help and advice to older people, said: “The withdrawal of on-board toilets is a worrying prospect for old people as well as for many others in society, who may decide to avoid travelling long distances by train.”
National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers general secretary Bob Crow also criticised the firm and said its decision was “a disgrace and unacceptable”.
He said: “The route has always had toilets on board in the past. This is the main connection between two major cities on the south coast. One-and-a-half hours without any toilet facilities on board is unacceptable.”
But a spokeswoman for Southern Railways said other trains in its fleet also had no toilets.
She said: “We are adding to the fleet to increase passenger capacity. Quite a few other operators do not have toilets. It is not unusual.”
No rules govern the availability of toilets on trains, according to the Department for Transport.