Commuters have been warned there will be nowhere to spend a penny in the new multi-million pound Crossrail development at Farringdon, despite passenger numbers being expected to rise to 150,000 per day.Crossrail said travellers will have to make do with the two cramped cubicles in the current train station and that there will be no toilets on any of its trains.
The station is being transformed into what rail bosses say will be “one of the most important transport hubs in central London,” linking Crossrail with the existing Thameslink line, as well as three underground lines.
In the latest plans for the station, Crossrail said the new service will deliver people to their destinations “in greater comfort,” but the lack of loos is expected to cause less than pleasant journeys.
George Allan, Liberal Democrat councillor for Clerkenwell, said: “It is a formula for a great deal of discomfort and distress for future passengers. It is not so much Crossrail as Cross-legged-rail.”
A spokeswoman for Crossrail said: “We have not provided toilets at Farringdon as it has existing ‘free of charge toilets’”.
However, there are concerns that the lack of new toilets may encourage late night revellers to urinate in the surrounding streets and could lead to chaos if passengers are stuck at the station because of train delays.
Karen Ward, who works at a design firm in Clerkenwell, said: “What are people supposed to do when there are thousands stranded at the station and the trains stop running? Thameslink is extremely unreliable already.”
Laurie Walters, who lives on Hosier Lane, close to the station, said: “Clubbers are already using the surrounding streets as a urinal, and this will just make it worse. Anyone who has ever tried to squeeze into the current toilets knows how inadequate they are already.”
Islington Council may resort to using its planning powers to force the developers to build more toilets at the station.
“There are several aspects of the development for the refurbishment of the old station and above ground buildings that have not yet been given planning permission in their own right so we could put pressure to say toilets are a requirement,” Mr Allan said.
He added that he is hoping to work with Camden and Westminster Councils to lobby Crossrail bosses to put toilets in its central London stations at Farringdon, Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road.