London’s busiest toilets closed for £4m revamp
The capital’s busiest toilets closed on Christmas Eve and will be open again in April 2019 as Network Rail undertakes a major redesign and refurbishment of the facilities at London Victoria station.
The new, revamped toilets will be furnished with high-quality materials and state-of-the-art plumbing systems to help manage the demands of the 80m passengers who use the station every year.
Step-free access and facilities for passengers with reduced mobility will be upgraded and improved and a new Changing Places facility added. Baby changing facilities will also be refurbished.
The male and female toilets will switch places, with the female toilets now occupying the larger space, reflecting modern station usage. However, the male toilets will retain the same number of cubicles and urinals by making better use of space.
The toilets, located on the Southern side of the station, will close on December 24 until April 2019. The toilets on the Southeastern side of the station will also undergo a complete overhaul from February until April 2019, including state-of-the-art plumbing systems and high-quality finishes to improve passenger experience.
From this weekend, temporary facilities will be available for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, at Hudson Place outside the station on the Southeastern side. The toilets at the Victoria Place shopping centre above the station will also be available to use for free.
Ian Hanson, Network Rail’s stations director for the South East route, said: “This investment is part of our ongoing work to make London Victoria station a welcoming, accessible and pleasant place for passengers. While we’ve maintained and repaired the existing facilities over the years, a complete overhaul is needed.
“This multi-million investment will provide people with clean, modern, reliable and comfortable facilities that befit one of the busiest and most iconic stations in the country. Passengers will be pleased to hear that after the £4m investment they still won’t have to spend a penny as the toilets will remain free to use.”
Southern and Gatwick Express Passenger Services Director Angie Doll said: “Better loos at Victoria will complement the improvements in customer service we’ve delivered by working as one team with colleagues at Network Rail and Southeastern. I know passengers will welcome this investment once work is complete.”
David Wornham, Passenger Services Director at Southeastern, said: “Working closely with our partners at Network Rail we’re always looking to do more for our passengers and this investment in better facilities will be worth the wait. We’re confident that despite the temporary inconvenience caused by transferring Victoria’s existing facilities, the newly re-opened and refurbished toilets that meet modern needs better will be much appreciated.”
This year, London Victoria’s National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) satisfaction rating jumped from 67 per cent to 80 per cent – meaning four out of five passengers are now satisfied with their experience.
The improvement followed the introduction of the ‘Team Victoria’ initiative, which seen all Network Rail and train operating company staff at the station wear the same uniform featuring the station’s iconic Queen Victoria logo. All teams are now trained to assist passengers, regardless of the service they’re using, meaning visitors to the station no longer need to seek out specific staff to help with their queries
Other improvements at the station which contributed to the improved NRPS scores included new customer information pods on the concourse, additional customer information screens, improved public address systems and clearer signage. More seats have also been added to the station concourse and mobility assistance is improved.
Further improvements are planned over the next year to further improve passenger experience.