Free toilets may cause anti-social behaviour

By | Category: Travel rumblings

During the year, Network Rail has scrapped the charges for using toilets at their stations. Primarily these were at London’s biggest stations but they also included Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley.

A ScotRail train at Edinbugh Waverley – this station has no anti-social behaviour so the toilets are free!

ScotRail said they would follow suit. Now they have decided to keep the charges. People will still pay to use toilets at Aberdeen, Fort William, Glasgow Queen Street and Inverness. Why just these four stations when there are toilet facilities at many other places such as Perth and Stirling

Why the change of heart?

Because, according to ScotRail, the provision of free toilets might lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour. Advice from British Trail Transport Police is behind this thinking which leads to a couple of questions.

The first is why this advice – which presumably was also available to Network Rail – was not heeded by Network Rail. That it was not suggests that they thought there was no issue of anti-social behaviour arising from having free toilets.

In which case what is it about the users of toilets at Glasgow Central that is so different from those – a mile or so away – at Glasgow Queen Street? In the Queen Street area of Glasgow is there a more likelihood of anti-social behaviour? Are Glasgow citizens aware of this? Is the Provost and the council taking action to determine why this sort of behaviour exists there and not at Central? Have the local police been consulted for their views on the demographics of anti-social behaviour in Glasgow?

More concerning is that Aberdeen, Fort William and Inverness have now been stigmatised by ScotRail as being places where anti-social behaviour occurs. And all just around their stations since there are free toilets elsewhere in these places.

Secondly, how is that ScotRail can control anti-social elements on their trains (where toilets are free) but not at their stations?

Or is it nothing to do with anti-social behaviour but more to do with the amount of money ScotRail makes from these busy stations?

The advice must be to use the toilets on the train. It’s free. Use them at Aberdeen station, for example, and it will be 50p But at least you won’t have any anti-social behaviour at the station because for the princely sum of 50p each visit, there won’t be any!

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