Councillor against 20p charge to spend a penny at new Northampton bus station

The new Northampton bus interchange, North Gate Bus Station.
The new Northampton bus interchange, North Gate Bus Station.

An opposition councillor has said the 20p charge to use the toilets in the new Northampton bus station “goes against the whole idea of public lavatories.”

Councillor Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle) has said she is against the introduction of a charge for commuters who use the new £7 million North Gate bus station, which is set to open on March 2.

Councillor Stone said: “I am opposed to this as it goes against the whole idea of public lavatories. Toilets are currently free in Greyfriars Bus Station so why not the new bus interchange?

“We were told that the new bus interchange would be an improvement on the old Greyfriars, but this is certainly not an improvement.

“Some, particularly young people, don’t always have spare change on them. To put it bluntly this is about spending more than a penny, which ends up in the pockets of the borough council.”

Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of the council, said the money would cover cleaning costs and upkeep and stop the toilets from becoming rundown.

He said: “It is fairly standard to charge for toilet facilities.

“Local people have told us time and time again that the state of the toilets at Greyfriars was not good enough, and this small charge will help us to make sure that the toilets at the new bus station are clean and well maintained for years to come.

“Labour would like the tax payer to fund these toilets, which is one of the reasons they have been urging us to put up borough council tax. We do not think that is the answer, a small charge of 20p is now a standard way to fund high quality public toilets. We have been upfront about this and explained that there would be a small charge to users when we first announced the plans last year.”