SOUTHEASTERN IS close to restoring its on-train toilet provision to normal, following several months in which many toilets have been locked out of use.
The problem stemmed from a review of working practices in third rail depots following the unfortunate death of a cleaner in an accident at St Leonards West Marina depot in 2014. Some established practices were banned by the company’s review, meaning it was not possible to service all toilets in the time available. Also, Southeastern’s zero tolerance of graffiti, in which no train was allowed to run for more than 12 hours if scarred by graffiti, had to be abandoned in order to keep sufficient trains in service.
By early May, modifications had been made under a £5 million programme at Grove Park carriage sidings, Slade Green depot and several other important locations, prompting Southeastern MD David Statham to tell the Kent Rail Summit in Maidstone on 14 May that the problem was under control and normal provision of toilets and graffiti removal would be restored soon.