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News / City Life

30p for a pee turns into a nice little earner

loo roll

If you've ever found yourself caught a little short at a train station and headed to the loos, it's a bit of a crap shoot (sorry) as to whether or not you'll be asked to fiddle with your loose change before you get to relieve yourself.

In some Manchester stations there's a charge. Spending a penny at Piccadilly or Victoria will cost you 30p. No change? You could cross your legs and try to walk to Oxford Road or Salford Central where there's no charge at all (but you do have to have a ticket to go through to where the loos are suggesting that toilet use is included in the price of your ticket). 

The charge at Piccadilly, not surprisingly an unpopular one amongst travellers, added up to a whopping £436k last year, quite a nice big pot. Network Rail say that, as a not for profit organisation, all money is flushed back into the system, enabling toilets to be kept clean and maintained, even though many haven't been updated for years.

With 24 million passengers a year using the station toilets in Manchester, that's a lot of loo roll, but the charge or no charge inconsistency is a bit confusing.

At the same time, public toilets have been closed throughout the city for years now, and it's hardly a shock anymore when you see shop doorways and alleyways at night being used as a replacement for anyone bursting to go. Consequently the need to clean our city streets increases. But what are you supposed to do when you're out in town during the day and need to go? The toilets in Primark on Market Street, for example,are in the Costa Coffee concession there, and you can't use the loos unless you've bought a drink. There are simply very few places you can go to for a free pee.

So where do you stand or, indeed, sit on this issue? Is the charge fair enough? What alternative is there for you if you need to go when you're out in town and you're not in a bar? 

Or should we just put a lid on it and walk away?