Public Toilet Advocates Examine Places To Go
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
July 14, 2006
SOLIHULL, ENGLAND--The British Toilet Association, whose mission includes campaigning for better public toilets across the United Kingdom, has joined forces with disability rights advocates in Solihull, where the town council recently decided to close public restrooms to cut costs.
The advocates claim that the toilets are located near bus stops that people with disabilities often use and that closing the facilities would cause them a lot of discomfort.
BTA Chairman Richard Chiswell told The Solihull News he knew of one way to pay for maintaining the loos: Tax local bars and night clubs.
"Pubs and clubs charge us enough to fill our bladders maybe they can afford to spend money on places where we can empty them," he explained.
Joe Holden, a member of the Solihull Disabled People's Forum, said he would be willing to pay to use the toilets, if that meant they would not be removed.
"Disabled people need toilets," he said.
Responding to a suggestion by one council member that people seek restrooms in local businesses as an alternative, Holden said that doing so "just isn't an option for most people with disabilities."
Holden predicted that the decision to close the toilets would end up costing local businesses in the end, because people with disabilities would choose to go elsewhere.
"I will very rarely venture into the town center now because of the closures," he told the newspaper.
Solihull Disabled People's Network members said they would soon visit city center businesses to see whether their restrooms were "up to scratch".