Kings Cross station makes £1.4m from its toilets
PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 September 2015 | UPDATED: 09:07 16 September 2015
Kings Cross Station has earned a small fortune of almost £1.4 million in the past three years by charging people to use the toilet.
The station, in Euston Road, has the third highest-earning toilets in the country after London Victoria, which made £2,300,511 in the last three years, and Euston, which made £1,828,110.
The station currently charges 30 pence to use the toilet facilities which operate a turnstile system to ensure that customers eager for the toilet cough up.
The data released by National Rail found that in at least one case, more than half of the money earned was kept as profit for the station and not used for the upkeep of the toilets.
Some customers outside the station were critical of the station’s practice of charging to use the toilet.
Jo Patrickson, 52, an NHS worker from Cambridgeshire said: “In Europe it’s the law that anyone can use the loos in businesses like restaurants or bars, so it’s basically a public loo and I think that’s the way to go. The turnstiles when you pay for the loos are a nightmare if you have a bag or children.”
Janet Dullaghar, 60, also an NHS employee from Cambridgeshire added: “It’s extortionate, especially if you are in a large group with kids. The majority of people are going to use the loo on a long journey.”
Maxwell Jones, 21, employee for the British Army, from Kensington said: “It’s ridiculous. I don’t think you should charge for using the toilet. I think it’s stupid, especially given that you pay however much to get a train ticket.”
However some customers were happy to pay the fee to use the toilet facilities.
David Burns, 38, a building surveyor from Harrogate said: “Somebody has to be paid to clean it. There’re a lot of people coming through and lots of people don’t really take care of the place. I think 30 pence is okay to be honest. If people don’t want to pay it there’s a McDonald’s round the corner.”
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail operates the biggest and busiest stations in Britain. Toilet facilities are available at all these stations and are open to everyone, not just rail users.
“The small charge we make for using the public toilet facilities in our stations helps to maintain them, ensures they are fully staffed and prevents misuse such as vandalism and other anti-social behaviour.
“Any profit from station toilets is reinvested in the railway and passenger facilities.”