Dozens of new public toilets?

Mina Road Park urinal

Mina Road Park urinal - the only official public toilet in Ashley ward as at November 2010

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. and enter your postcode or street
Here is the result for York Road in Montpelier:
Cowmead Road Urinal 590
St Andrews Park 651
Gloucester Road 967
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?
Montpelier Health Centre and opening hours

Montpelier Health Centre - are residents and visitors able to "use their facilities"?

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?

About Jon Rogers

Avonmouth GP, Ashley Ward Liberal Democrat councillor, Bristol City Council Cabinet Member for Care and Health and responsibility for Cycling City. Enthusiastic commuter by foot, cycle, train and bus. Car for special occasions!
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3 Responses to Dozens of new public toilets?

  1. judith brown says:

    Good work Jon, but its the Council who need to a) offer incentives to business to join in and show by a window sticker maybe ” We’re a Good Neighbour- use our loo!” or (b) build more loos themselves. Loos and seating are useful for everyone. Best wishes, Judith Brown

    • Jon Rogers says:

      Thanks Judith

      I suspect the community would appreciate businesses and organisations who were “Good Neighbours”! This could make it commercially useful to display a sticker and appear on the map.

      As for “building loos” – be great to have the money, and maybe the £5m S106 money allocated to Neighbourhood Partnerships might be prioritised. Capital and revenue costs are high. Much cheaper to use the facilities that are already there in businesses and organisations.


  2. Val Jenkins says:

    Jon did you know that in 2010 UN declared access to adequate sanitation a human right I know UK doesnt have to acknowledge this but still do not understand our employment laws that allow transport firms to opt out of responsibility for the needs of their employees in this regard

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