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SOAPBOX: Public Toilets UK - a matter of urgency
writes Gillian Kemp, MA, founder, Truckers Toilets UK Campaign
"Articles about public toilets appear to be ever increasing - usually because so many facilities are now closing. This is a great worry especially for the young, the elderly, those who are pregnant, on medication of various types that necessitate the loo, have a particular medical condition... in fact the list gets longer if you also take into account the needs of taxi drivers, bus drivers, train drivers, police officers, postal workers, night shift workers and so on...
What can we do about this? Is it time to rethink the toilet? Where's the best place to put a toilet? Should we lose the Ladies / Gents feature?
Nothing has really changed on the toilet front since the Victorians first established public toilets. Is it time to move on?
We have 19 members in the Toilet Consortium UK, keen to improve the toilet situation. We have focused in the first instance mainly on charities but we have other interested parties too.
At a recent meeting, we finalised the details of a survey, the aim of which is to discover what issues are most important to members of the various charities and organisations about using public toilets.
We were very pleased with the comments and suggestions made by those involved and are preparing to send the survey to Consortium members for distribution to their members. The survey will remain open until the end of September and we're looking forward to discussing the results at our October Consortium meeting.
So, what can you do to help?
There are various action groups throughout the UK fighting to save their toilets and many have proved successful - which is great news. This shows that getting people together for a common cause can work. The problem with toilets is that some people are embarrassed to raise the subject and suffer in silence. Sorry folks, but we must get over this. We all need the loo several times a day and whilst we may feel that our dignity is being compromised if we talk about toilets, just remember that our health - and dignity, can be seriously compromised by the lack of facilities.
There are 'tool kits' to help establish a toilet campaign - whether it's to keep a facility open or build a new one. Please contact PTUK for more information."
Image: Generic picture, courtesy of www.express.co.uk
29th June 2017