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.
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.
David Biggs, Network Rail’s managing director of property