Station Toilets - Woking in particular

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sbt

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WARNING - Major Rant follows...

Woking Station Toilets. What is the deal with these?

For the 20 years I have used this station the main toilets on the Island Platform (2/3/4) have regularly been out of service for 'Drainage Issues'. Some years it seems like they have been out of use for most of the year.

I heard that the reason is that the drains beneath the track have not been updated since the station was originally built. I can well believe this as I know that the towns drains haven't been upgraded since Victorian times, despite the increase in usage due to the shift to high-rise development. I know this because the basement of my flats got flooded with sewage as a result.

The other Gents on Platform 5 are tiny. They were reduced in size to make way for the Disabled facilities. So we have a major interchange station where the only functioning gents provide one urinal and one cubical. The space is so cramped that you can't enter or leave the cubical whilst someone is using the urinal or open the main door whilst someone is using the hand basin. And the urinal leaks.

This is, I remind you, a major station served by the Heathrow Rail Link Bus. Its the first experience of Britian and its railways many foriengers will get.

There have been many changes to the station over the years and nothing has been done about the situation. Yes the Island Platform toilets have been upgraded - but that is pointless if you can't use them. Could nothing have been done when the new retail outlets were put in on Platform 5 (I suspect the answer is yes, but profit prevails).

Now I find that, to add insult to injury, a Vending Machine has been put on the wall in the Platform 5 toilets. So now you can't even stand 'square on' to use the urinal and its even less easy to get into the cubical.

Short of reliving myself on the Platform, how and to whom should I complain in order to get some action? Its not uncommon to find what s effectively a queue, all be it a one or two person one, outside these toilets. The situation is ridiculous, one could almost say 'taking the P', especially with the number of trains using this station that have on-board toilets out of use, and has been going on for decades.

Are there any other large stations with this sort of situation? Are there any rules governing provision of facilities? I believe that there are regarding places that sell food and drink for consumption on the premises. Are they relevant to stations with food outlets like Woking?
 
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PaxVobiscum

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...Short of reliving myself on the Platform, how and to whom should I complain in order to get some action? Its not uncommon to find what s effectively a queue, all be it a one or two person one, outside these toilets. The situation is ridiculous, one could almost say 'taking the P', especially with the number of trains using this station that have on-board toilets out of use, and has been going on for decades.

Are there any other large stations with this sort of situation? Are there any rules governing provision of facilities? I believe that there are regarding places that sell food and drink for consumption on the premises. Are they relevant to stations with food outlets like Woking?
Maybe if enough people write to complain the station management (Network Rail?) will respond to "pee-er group" pressure? :D
 

tempests1

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I agree the loo situation at Woking is far from ideal, perhaps if you left via the town exit (Plt1) you could walk down to Chertsey Road & use the loo at KFC/Mcdonalds/Weatherspoons etc. Still I suppose on the station they don't charge unlike Guildford
 

sbt

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I might be stating the obvious but surely you need to speak to SWT about the matter?
Is Woking a SWT or National Rail managed station? And which bit should I write to? Or would someone like Passenger Focus be more likely to get results, given that this isn't exactly a new situation and several opportunities to do something about it have been ignored? Indeed they have, this week, not only ignored it but made it worse.
 

wibble

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Is Woking a SWT or National Rail managed station? And which bit should I write to? Or would someone like Passenger Focus be more likely to get results, given that this isn't exactly a new situation and several opportunities to do something about it have been ignored? Indeed they have, this week, not only ignored it but made it worse.
Woking is an SWT managed station - Waterloo is the only station on the SWT network currently managed by Network Rail. Contact details for SWT are on their website.
 

MidnightFlyer

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Is Woking a SWT or National Rail managed station? And which bit should I write to? Or would someone like Passenger Focus be more likely to get results, given that this isn't exactly a new situation and several opportunities to do something about it have been ignored? Indeed they have, this week, not only ignored it but made it worse.
SWT manage the station, contact them. I wouldn't go straight to PF, at least give SWT the chance to explain the situation, and indeed any further plans they may have. I wouldn't recommend you contact them lambasting them over it - just explain your concerns and ask what their response is.
 

sbt

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SWT manage the station, contact them. I wouldn't go straight to PF, at least give SWT the chance to explain the situation, and indeed any further plans they may have. I wouldn't recommend you contact them lambasting them over it - just explain your concerns and ask what their response is.
So no swear words then? Awww :)

Hmm. I may even suggest a mitigation measure. IIRC there is a normally closed gate accessing the London end of Platform 5 that could be used to service Portaloos placed nearby. I'm pretty certain there is a gate in the wall onto Platform 1 in a similar location, which could be an alternative. If I am imagining these then I pretty sure one to Plat 5 could be created.

Added: It needn’t be Portaloos either. I have supported some pretty nice Portable Toilet Blocks when doing Site Services at Boat Festivals.
 

wintonian

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the rather nice BR ones at Eastleigh have been looked up for use only by staff since at least shortly after the dawn of privatisation.

The gents at Lymington town didn't even have a roof untill they were closed about 8 years ago.

But yes SWT's toilets don't tend to stay nice for long every-time they redo the ones on plt at Southampton Central for example they are back to the same old vandalised state within 6 months and often closed as a result for weeks on end.
 

Yew

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Of course, any work on any toilets, be they in stations or in public buildings, usually somewhere involves the words 20p and Tax Charge
 

exile

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At one time virtually every station had toilets. Now not even all staffed stations have them. The logic is that trains now have toilets - but that doesn't apply to, for example, London Underground or Merseyrail journeys some of which are over an hour in duration.
 

wintonian

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Of course, any work on any toilets, be they in stations or in public buildings, usually somewhere involves the words 20p 40p and Tax Charge
Just corrected your other typo for you. :)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
At one time virtually every station had toilets. Now not even all staffed stations have them. The logic is that trains now have toilets - but that doesn't apply to, for example, London Underground or Merseyrail journeys some of which are over an hour in duration.
I was rather surprised when getting of the train at Whitby in some need for liquid relief that following the signs I was directed to the council loos over the road and to make things tricky I didn't have enough change and my new bank card was in the post so I had to queue up in the bank first. :-x
 

table38

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At one time virtually every station had toilets. Now not even all staffed stations have them. The logic is that trains now have toilets - but that doesn't apply to, for example, London Underground or Merseyrail journeys some of which are over an hour in duration.
Quite a few staffed Merseyrail stations have toilets with a camera/intercom so you contact staff who presumably open the door remotely.
 

trainophile

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Going from Southport to Chester on Merseyrail, with a change at Moorfields, the journey is about one and three quarter hours. At Moorfields the toilets (such as they are, one cubicle for men and one for women, with barrier staff allowing access) are in the wrong direction for the necessary platform change so unless desperate it's "inconvenient" to use them.

I often wonder whether if taken short at some point on the route, thereby having to leave the train (assuming you know of a Merseyrail station with facilities available), and resume your journey on the next train, you thereby miss your timed connection from Chester, would that count as mitigating circumstances to allow you to board a later train? Or would you have to buy a new ticket to complete your journey?
 
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