Substantial queues for the ladies’ toilet at the Capital’s main station have been branded as a show of “blatant sex discrimination”.
Michelle Reeve from Croydon visits the city every year and was shocked to be forced to wait 20 minutes in a queue for the toilets at Waverley.
Unable to hold on any longer for fear of missing her train home, she had to abandon the plan and forfeit her 30p.
Ms Reeve explained: “After waiting ten minutes, by which time we were not even in the ladies, we had to give up, as the queue was at least 20 minutes long, and we would have missed our train. This would be bad enough, but during this time we saw many men enter and leave the gents within a couple of minutes – obviously no queues there!
“I hope highlighting this horrible entry to your great city will shame Network Rail into providing adequate toilets for women – or would they think it acceptable to reduce male provision, so men also have to wait 20 minutes?
“The Waverley Station website boasts of the improvements to the station, but obviously women’s needs are not considered important. Do they not realise that providing adequate toilets for men and not for women is blatant sex discrimination?”
Campaigners trying to improve the current provision of toilet facilities across the UK said, although there is no legal requirement to build toilets, health and safety guidance indicates for every one male toilet there should be two female toilets.
British Toilet Association managing director Raymond Martin, who advises companies on toilet provision said: “Men can go quicker, ladies take longer to disrobe and longer in general for various reasons and that should be taken into account when planning toilet provision. It’s worrying to hear what is happening at the station because this is a big issue. People who are waiting up to 20-30 mins for a train shouldn’t have to wait for such a long time to use the facilities.
“This is a situation Network Rail should have taken advice on when considering the level of provision at the station.
“It’s absolutely vital, particularly with visitors coming to Edinburgh, that when arriving at Waverley Station, they don’t get the wrong impression of the city. This is a public health and social inclusion issue and if you’re building something like a train station you must try and cater for the people you are servicing.”
A ScotRail Alliance spokesman said: “During the festivals, footfall through Waverley almost doubles from around 70,000 people a day to over 130,000 on the busiest days. This can put short-term additional demand on station facilities such a toilets.”