Huge news for anyone with a bladder who travels through London Waterloo Station on the reg: the UK’s busiest rail terminus is getting a massive toilet refresh, which will include the addition of gender-neutral lavs to ‘improve inclusivity’.
It’s all part of a big project to make the passenger experience at the station better. It involves giving the bathrooms a complete revamp with new and improved facilities and the installation of a ‘balanced number of female and male facilities’ as well as the new gender-neutral loos. Extra baby-changing areas and better access for those with reduced mobility are also promised. Network Rail has even released a fancy CGI graphic of what the new lavs will look like.
Construction of the new WCs is due to start in mid-February and be completed during the summer. Cem Davis, Network Rail’s London Waterloo station manager, hoped the new facilities ‘will make journeys a lot more pleasant and comfortable’.
Ironically, given its name, Waterloo needs a real lav spruce-up. It’s repeatedly crowned the busiest railway station in the UK (an estimated 41 million passengers passed through its concourse in the 12 months to the end of March 2022). And it’s pretty clear that London is long overdue better toilets in general. A report from The London Assembly in 2021 found 90 percent of Londoners thought there weren’t enough public toilets in the capital, while another survey from the same year found 30 percent of the city’s so-called ‘conveniences’ weren’t accessible.
Plus, given that 40 percent of trains in London were delayed or cancelled last year, not to mention continual rail strikes, the capital’s commuters are in greater danger than ever of being caught short.
In other travel news: Westminster Council is cracking down on rickshaws.