Commuters have expressed their anger as the barriers have returned to Brighton Station’s toilets – with a 20p charge.
One Twitter user @DjctdStephen said: “Congrats to @SouthernRailUK for bringing back the charge to use the toilets at Brighton Station. Classy move. Do the constant train fare increases not line your pockets enough? I’ve never had to pay in any of the stations in the South West.”
Another, @olivergillespie, said: “It’s insane, half the trains to Brighton from Worthing don’t have toilets, so we have no choice but to use the station toilets.
“They did not charge for a long time clearly they don’t make enough from the crowded trains already.”
One furious commuter told the Brighton & Hove Independent: “After ripping out the old pay barriers from the Brighton station toilets a while back commuters have enjoyed the use of the public conveniences for free. Barriers have now been reintroduced.
“Considering Network Rail has scrapped charges at stations like Victoria how can Southern justify continuing them in Brighton, especially as a large number of trains do not carry toilet facilities – both coastal lines heavily rely on three-carriage trains with no toilets.
“No less than three of the four hand dryers in the men’s were broken last week, hopefully they will be investing the new revenue stream in fixing these?
“Rather than paying I suppose the alternative is to get off a train with no toilets at Brighton and get on a different parked train and use the toilets on board before it departs the station. What a ludicrous state of affairs!
“The reintroduction of charges is a kick in the teeth for long-suffering passengers and shows GTR’s true colours.
“Brighton and Hove MPs and the city’s politicians should urgently lobby for the removal of charges.”
Govia Thameslink (GTR), which runs the Southern franchise, said the barriers were removed in November as they needed to be replaced.
A GTR spokesman said: “Work is now finished to replace the toilet turnstiles at Brighton station that were damaged beyond repair, and the unreliable coin change machine.
“The same, small, 20p charge we make to use these toilets has therefore been reintroduced.
“The fee, which has remained unchanged for years, helps fund the cleaning staff and management of this facility, as well as its future maintenance.
“This staff presence also acts as a significant deterrent to anti-social behaviour which can be a real concern for passengers.”