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Train toilet removal criticised


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.


Readers' comments (2)

  • This a an absolute disgrace, and they dress it up as "to increase passanger capacity", when the real reason is they do not want to pay staff to monitor and clean the toilets.

    I think there should be some requirement to have toilets on baord trains for journeys of over 30 minutes. I have recently had a cross-legged jpurney of an hour on a Southeastern train, where althought there were 2 toilets, both were out of service.

    No consideration for the elderly, very young, or those with continence problems.

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  • The provision of toilets which are always accessible should begin at school [where too often access is restricted]. Closed, out of order toilets on Virgin trains, rare but when they do happen, cause serious discomfort for many, particularly people with continence problems.Trains between Liverpool Street to Southend used to have sealed compartments [no through passage way]. After an evening in Southend pubs, there was no alternative but to pull the window down and aim high.Southern trains could provide buckets in every compartment?

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