Toilets at Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds and Liverpool Lime Street railway stations will be free to use from next Monday.

Network Rail said scrapping the charges (30p at Manchester and Liverpool and 40p at Leeds) is the first passenger improvement resulting from a £15 million benefits package, announced last week by rail minister Andrew Jones, for Northern and TransPennine Express customers.

Network Rail’s Martin Frobisher, managing director for the London North Western route, and Rob McIntosh, managing director for the London North Eastern & East Midlands route, said in a joint statement: “We welcome the rail minister’s funding package for passengers in the north. We will respond to this immediately and one of the first changes will be the removal of toilet charges at Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds and Liverpool Lime Street. This is a long-overdue Christmas present for train passengers in the north.”

The charges will be lifted on Monday December 17th. This had been planned for April 1st 2019 but it is being brought forward.

Last week the rail minister said the disruption suffered by train customers in the north had been “unacceptable.”

“Network Rail will spend an additional £15 million on a passenger benefits package for Northern and TransPennine Express customers,” he said. An industry-wide recovery project for performance for the north of England was now “focused on delivering reliable and punctual services that people can have confidence in,” he added.