Train Firm Criticised For Lack Of Toilets

A train company's been called a "disgrace'' after it emerged some of its new fleet on a route between two South Coast cities have no toilets on board.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers (RMT) slammed Southern Railways' decision to not include toilets in new trains on its Brighton to Portsmouth service.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said it was "unacceptable'' that passengers on board the service, which takes up to an hour and 25 minutes, would have to forgo the facilities.

He said:

"The route has always had toilets on board in the past. This is the main connection between two major cities on the South Coast. One and a half hours without any toilet facilities on board is unacceptable.''

He added:

"Southern are a disgrace. There is no corner this crowd won't cut to jack up profits. First it was security cuts leading to a surge in assaults on our members and now they are axing on-train toilets. All of this is about screwing passengers and staff and maximising the profits of the parent Go-Ahead group.

"It doesn't take a genius to work out that if you close on-train toilets some people will take matters into their own hands turning the carriages into stinking cattle trucks and creating appalling conditions for both passengers and staff.

"RMT will continue to campaign for Southern, and the rest of the rip-off rail franchises, to be taken back into public ownership to end this profit-driven madness.''

He said RMT are already set to ballot members of Southern Railways for industrial action after cuts to security led to a surge in assaults on staff.

A spokeswoman for Southern Railways said other trains in its fleet also did not have toilets on board.

"We are adding to the fleet to increase passenger capacity,'' she said.

"Quite a few other operators do not have toilets. It is not unusual.''

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said there were no rules on whether or not toilets should be available on trains.

He said: "We expect rail companies to provide a good service for their passengers and ensure that they can travel in comfort and safety.

"However, it is not for the Government micromanage the industry.''