Network Rail improves everyone’s ability to spend a penny (but it’s not charging for the privilege!)
Toilet facilities claimed to be the busiest in London are now open again, but this time to everyone, following a complete transformation.
Network Rail has completed a major refurbishment of the toilets at London Victoria station, utilising the expertise of leading accessible toilet company Closomat to ensure the new facilities are truly accessible.
As a result, the terminus now has a Changing Places 12m2 assisted accessible toilet, alongside the station’s other accessible toilets, at street level on the ‘Sussex’ side of the terminal.
It is the latest step in addressing the need to improve rail accessibility, highlighted in a report(*) which indicated only a third of stations have even a standard wheelchair-accessible toilet; even fewer have the more inclusive Changing Places.
Ian Hanson, Network Rail’s stations director (south east route) said, “When drawing up plans to redesign the toilets at London Victoria, one of our key objectives was to improve the facilities available for passengers with reduced mobility. As such, the inclusion of a Changing Places facility was an easy decision given that it is so much more than just an accessible toilet. By including this facility we hope an even wider range of passengers are able to travel through London Victoria without anxiety about where or how they might use the toilet. This aligns with Network Rail’s ambition to make all of our managed stations as inclusive as possible.”
The toilet refurbishment also includes redesigned male & female toilets to better reflect modern station usage and make better use of space. All remain free to use.
(*)On Track for 2020? The Future of Accessible Rail Travel: Of the 40 stations surveyed(*), 38% had a toilet and 35% had an accessible toilet
Some 20% of the UK population is disabled. Whilst not all do not need the extra capability of a Changing Places, many require extra space (to accommodate a large wheelchair and/or carers, and additional equipment- they may need help to transfer to the toilet, they may need changing. Conventional wheelchair accessible toilets do not have the space or equipment they need, meaning their opportunities to spend time away from home are severely curtailed.