Dutch commuters bag plans for pee pouches

''PEE-BAGS'' have been introduced as an emergency measure on short-hop Dutch trains that have no toilets.

''Plastic bags will be made available on trains, to be handed out to passengers in case of extreme emergencies,'' the Dutch National Railways spokesman, Eric Trinthamer, said, adding ''it included when trains were stranded''.

Should passengers be caught short, the train's driver or conductor would hand out the bags and passengers would be able to use the unoccupied driver's cabin at the back of the train.

The bag is attached to a spout and filled with a powdered substance that turns into a gel and passengers would leave it behind or throw it away when they stepped off the train.

But incredulous rail passengers, especially women, interviewed by Dutch national television were dismayed by the idea. ''No, are you serious? No, no way, I just can't see myself doing it in that,'' one unnamed female passenger said. ''For a man it may be easier, for a woman that's just impossible.''

Dutch train drivers also reacted with fury, saying they were revolted by the idea of their work space being turned into a lavatory.

''When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke,'' Wim Eilert of the country's driver's union said.

''To let people pee where somebody else needs to work, that will not do. It's distasteful.''

Mr Tranthamer said that a motion was accepted before the Dutch parliament's lower house earlier this year that from 2015 no trains would be bought if they were not equipped with toilets.

AFP

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