Monday 12 Feb 2018
Network Rail makes a splash with free drinking water at stations
- Network Rail to trial drinking water facilities at London Charing Cross
Users of some of the country’s largest railway stations will soon be able to benefit from the introduction of free drinking water facilities, Network Rail has announced.
The free drinking water initiative, which seeks to encourage station users to refill their own multiple use water bottles, forms part of Network Rail’s wider ambitions to reduce the impact of plastic waste at its stations.
The scheme will begin with the trial installation of a new water fountain at London Charing Cross by the end of March. Learnings from the trial will inform a full rollout of free drinking water facilities across all Network Rail’s managed stations later in the year with fountains installed where it is practical and feasible to do so.
The new facilities will provide free drinking water on the go for the millions of people who use Network Rail managed stations annually, improving station user experience.
As one of the country’s largest retail landlords, Network Rail understands the impact of single-use plastics on the environment and is also looking at ways it can work together with its station food and beverage retail tenants to reduce plastic waste.
Network Rail has been encouraged by the action of some of its retailers who have already taken steps to reduce their use of plastics, and wants to work with them to have even more impact. This could include providing free drinking water instore to complement facilities on the station concourse, or encouraging them to make simple changes to the materials used in their cutlery or packaging.
David Biggs, Network Rail's managing director of property said: “At Network Rail we put station users at the heart of everything we do and our managed stations are carefully designed to ensure that people can enjoy a great experience - whether they’re travelling, shopping, dining or socialising.
“By introducing free water fountains at our managed stations we can make a simple change that not only helps quench the thirst of station users, but also has a positive impact on our sustainability ambitions by reducing single-use plastics.
“We’re looking forward to the introduction of these water fountains and the benefits they will bring the public and the environment.”
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.