If you thought rail fares were high…

By | Category: Travel rumblings
manchester Piccadilly station. Toilets produced over £1 million for Network Rail over the last three years.

Manchester Piccadilly station. Toilets produced over £1 million for Network Rail over the last three years.

The Liverpool Echo has revealed the rail industries answer to cameras installed along the roads.

If you think that some traffic cameras make a pile of money that disappears into local government coffers, then you should see the amount of money Network Rail makes out of us paying to use toilets on stations. No wonder Ryanair said it wanted to charge for using toilets. The amount of money they would have raised from ancillary marketing (the fancy term for charging us for anything more than a seat on a plane) would dwarf the amount they could make from fares.

Victoria Station in London managed to make £2,300,511 over the last three years from us. If it costs that amount of money to clean, provision and maintain the toilets then the contractors should be fired because that smacks of profiteering. I will tender at half the price and still make a handsome profit.

Yet if these figures are to be believed why isn’t London Waterloo, the busiest station listed in the top 13 stations mentioned by the Echo? Waterloo will have about 100 million passengers this year; the thirteenth on the list is London Bridge which will have about 59 million. Are London Bridge passengers more in need of toilet facilities than those passing through Waterloo?

On its own home ground, the Liverpool Echo has looked at the figures provided for Liverpool Lime Street and shows that over half of the money raised was kept as profit. Network Rail says that the revenue from the charges helps prevent “… misuse such as vandalism and other anti-social behaviour. Any profit from station toilets is reinvested in the railway and passenger facilities.”

This comes from the same company – Network Rail – which seems to demonstrate an inability to control costs and completion dates on its engineering. It also pays its six directors £4,249,000. Although there is absolutely no linkage, I find it interesting that the top 14 stations are generating about the same amount per year from toilet facilities as get paid to them.

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