Tourists travelling on the famous Keighley & Worth Valley Railway line may enjoy the attraction’s period charms, but it seems not all are impressed with its Victorian facilities.
A number of travellers have complained about the toilets at Oxenhope Station not being up to modern standards. On Monday work starts on demolishing the toilets and re-building them for the modern traveller.
The project will take seven weeks, and temporary toilet facilities will be available during construction.
Once complete, guests have been promised a much less “spartan” toilet experience.
Oxenhope is the final stop on the line, one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area. The railway has assured passengers that the toilets will be rebuilt out of the existing materials, and keep the station’s Victorian appeal while providing the thousands of visitors who pass through it every year with suitable facilities, including disabled access.
Station clerk of works Mike Tarren said: “The gents’ is out in the open. We’ve had years of complaints and get some very adverse comments.
“We don’t have hot water, and the sink is so small people often don’t see it. In seven or eight weeks I hope we have something a little less barbaric.
“At the moment the toilets are spartan, to say the least.”
He said period toilet features, similar to those at Haworth station, would be used to make sure the facilities were in keeping with the rest of the line.
“Outwardly it will look the same,” he said. “We have had some complaints with people saying the toilets are traditional and we shouldn’t change them. But those people don’t have to face the public and their complaints.”
News of the refurbishment had a mixed response on the railway’s Facebook page. Malky Smithson said: “Once complaints do roll in there’s problems with the reputation, especially with all these online reviewers now.”
Andrew Hoyle said: “Another piece of railway history going! What next, welded track? It’s a museum, live with it.”