Paying to spend a penny at Sheffield station

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Spending a penny returns at Sheffield railway station in a bid to deter vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

East Midlands Trains, which manages the station, is introducing a 20p charge from next month after revamped loos, installed as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment, were trashed within weeks. New toilets were installed on the station’s front concourse because of the condition of old facilities, which were only five years old.

Other toilets on the platforms are also being refurbished. Problems include graffiti, junkies hiding needles in toilet cisterns and indecent behaviour between men.

A spokeswoman for East Midlands Trains, which is upgrading facilities in Sheffield as part of a £10 million investment programme of stations, said: “Our station enhancement scheme has delivered some significant improvements to the passenger facilities at Sheffield with all of the station waiting rooms and toilets completely refurbished.

“As well as providing brand new services of a consistent level, new light and tap sensors are helping to provide more hygienic and greener toilet facilities.

“We are committed to protecting the improvements that have been delivered by this multi-million pound investment programme.

“The 20 pence charge will allow us to continue to provide a high quality facility for passengers. It should help to encourage users to treat the facilities respectfully and with consideration for others.”

Sheffield Council leader Coun Paul Scriven said: “I’d support charging if it meant the quality and safety of the station facilities is improved - the council operates a similar charge for its toilets in the city centre.”