Scotland

ScotRail scraps plan to make station toilets free

Queen Street Station Image copyright PA

Scotrail has scrapped plans to remove the fee for using toilets at four of its railway stations.

Network Rail pledged free toilets at Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley last year.

It prompted ScotRail to investigate free access at Glasgow Queen Street, Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William - but now ScotRail says the move is not viable based on police advice.

The price has also risen from 30p to 50p at Aberdeen due to operating costs.

'Safety assessments'

According to ScotRail, British Transport Police (BTP) raised concerns that free toilet access could increase anti-social behaviour.

BTP confirmed they had given advice on the matter, however it is understood the decision to keep the toilets paid was a business decision by Scotrail to fund upkeep.

Police also supplied anti-social behaviour figures for Glasgow Queen Street, where the average number of annual passengers is 8.2million.

The number of recorded incidents decreased from 49 in 2016/17 to 40 in 2017/18 and again 40 in 2018/19.

When asked about the new 50p fee at Aberdeen station toilets, ScotRail pointed to rising operating costs.

'Passengers first'

The body also said costs for cleaning supplies and staffing had increased.

A ScotRail spokesman said: "After carrying out full safety assessments, gaining feedback from industry partners and assessing the long-term costs, it was established that removing charges was not a viable option."

Earlier this year London Liverpool Street, London King's Cross and Edinburgh Waverley became the last of Network Rail's 20 stations to make their toilets free.

The public sector body said it wanted to put "passengers first" and help make their journeys "a bit more hassle-free".

In 2017 it was revealed that Network Rail had made £41m in 10 years from toilet charges.

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