Bristol Old People’s Forum BOPF have been campaigning for many years for more public toilets in the city.
They presented a petition in 2007, against a background of council public toilet closures. Since then more toilets have closed.
If we want to encourage walking, cycling and a true sense of community then improving access to toilets is not just important to older people but everyone.
Local campaigner Waliur Rahman and I have been investigating how we might reverse the trend of the last few years, against the background of financial austerity.
We now have a council electronic map that shows many publicly accessible toilets in the city. http://www.bristol.gov.uk/publictoilets and enter your postcode or street
Here is the result for York Road in Montpelier:
|Cowmead Road Urinal||590|
|St Andrews Park||651|
|St James Barton||1109|
The picture above is of the closest – “Cowmead Road urinal”!
It is a beautiful, and still fully functional, urinal in Mina Road Park in St Werburghs and currently the only recorded public toilet in Ashley ward! The next nearest is up the hill in St Andrews Park, which is outside Ashley ward in Redland ward, as are the toilets on Gloucester Road.
But hang on (literally!) couldn’t people use the toilets in one of the pubs or cafés in Montpelier, or perhaps Montpelier Health Centre?
As a result of discussions with Val Jenkins of the BOPF, my own surgery at Avonmouth Medical Centre is listed, and we understand that all NHS surgeries were approached by the council to include on the map. A number have been included. Others have said they are happy for people to call in, but they don’t want to advertise the fact!
Thanks to the hard and persistent work of BOPF the council is about to publish the map of publicly accessible toilets as a booklet. It would be good if when it was next published more sites could be included.
Do let us know your ideas! Perhaps this could be raised through the Neighbourhood Partnerships?