The time between Christmas and the New Year can be a quiet time for news, which means that it can be easier for companies to get their message into print.
For some businesses a Press Release is written to capture the attention of news editors and ensure their brand receives what in effect is free publicity. The wackier the Press Release the more chance that it would get picked up and used.
So a story about a bra down a train toilet is one way to get that attention!
So over to Virgin Trains to take up the story.
“Virgin Trains is urging customers to follow the 3Ps of flushing after a lady’s bra was found to be the latest cause of a blocked toilet onboard one of its Pendolino trains.
“The undergarment joins a list of strange items that include glasses, wedding rings, nappies and even a football scarf to have been flushed down the pan.
“On a typical day around four toilets are taken out of service as a result of inappropriate use. This equates to over 18,000 lost toilet hours per year, and a repair bill in excess of £182,000.
“By far the biggest culprit however is the ‘wet wipe’, accounting for over 90% of blockages. Even wipes labelled as ‘flushable’ can lead to problems, the woven material clogging the internal pipes leading to the onboard effluent tanks.
“It did make us smile when we found the bra as it’s not something you would expect to find,” explained Michael Jacks, Head of Fleet and Engineering at Virgin Trains.
“But it does highlight a very serious issue, and one that greatly impacts on our customers. Bins are provided, and we would remind everyone to follow the 3Ps of flushing. Only pee, poo and paper should be flushed down any toilet.”
• Virgin Trains has 484 toilets in service on its trains each day.
• On average a toilet is flushed eight times per hour.
• Talking toilets, along with tongue in cheek signage, have been used onboard Virgin Trains to promote
responsible toilet use.
The toilet message
“Please don’t flush nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, gum, old phones, unpaid bills, junk mail, your ex’s sweater, hopes, dreams or goldfish down this toilet.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.