Two thousand people use an Austrian service station’s toilets each day. Collection plates withdrawn. State owned loos still free.
The format is by now well established in Europe. At service stations in Germany, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands, customers pay 50c to use the toilet then redeem the ticket in the shop or café.
So ‘successful’ has the idea become that it is being adopted across the rest of the Continent. They system is under consideration in Norway, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland and Spain and is about to be introduced in Austria.
The first twelve of Austria’s 90 motorway service stations will be converted by the end of April with the remainder to follow this year.
The toilets in the 36 ‘quick stop’ rest areas owned by ASFINAG, the state road operator, however will continue to be free.
The Austrian system is slightly more user friendly than other countries. The voucher is fully redeemable, even against fuel. Up to five vouchers can be used per transaction, they are valid for one year and can be used at any Austrian service station, regardless of brand. Collection plates for toilet staff will be removed.
Children under ten and the disabled can use the toilets for free.
The authorities say 2,000 people use the toilets at each service station per day costing €100,000 a year.
We also hear unconfirmed rumours the price in Germany will rise to 70c, only 50c of which will be redeemed, and not for fuel.