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Your comments on the Network Rail income generated from toilet use charges refers. I tried to add comment on your Facebook page but only the first paragraph was displayed, I have now added the full version as shown below.
Between 2008 and 2014, during which time I was director or latterly chairman of the British Toilet Association, I promoted the benefits of introducing affordable charges for use of public toilets to Local Authorities (LAs) as an alternative to closing toilets that were deemed 'too expensive to provide.'
We achieved some success but as the provision of public toilets is discretionary, and there is not obligation on LAs to provide public toilets, the easy option for many LAs was to close them and gain an immediate reduction in costs and potentially a capital gain if the building could be sold. There was little recognition of the human need for these essential facilities or the commercial opportunities available.
I agree that the commercial opportunity of actually gaining income exceeding the costs of providing public toilets was lost on many LAs. I visited Germany and viewed attractive, very clean and well maintained main line railway station toilets provided by Hering, a German toilet provider and Loo of the Year supporter, that in recognition of the one Euro charge for use, issued money-off vouchers that users could use as part payment for goods on sale in the station's retail outlets.
Another European company 2theloo, with sponsorship from Loo of the Year's headline sponsor Tork, has recently opened an excellent public toilet in Covent Garden, another example of a commercial approach to providing what is needed, albeit at 70p a use - but again with discount vouchers provided for use at local businesses.
Now through Loo of the Year Awards, we continue to provide valuable assessments of the standard of toilets facilities provided in all market sectors, and the recognition of their success. We also provide advice and assistance to any commercial company, including cleaning or facilities management companies who may consider what can be a viable and lucrative opportunity that also benefits society at large - provision of clean, well maintained and inclusive publicly accessible toilets.
Mike Bone, managing director,
for and on behalf of Loo of The Year Awards
T: +44(0)1403 258779
17th September 2015