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Shutting down public toilets.

(123 Posts)
Shallwedancetomojito Tue 09-Jun-20 15:05:39

Is there really any need for this?

Councils in the UK are shutting down public toilets, shops and dept stores and cafes are going to be closing there's too, even cinemas.

I usually need the toilet as soon as I leave the house.

What about mothers with young children or people with Ibs, just for starters?

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Holothane Tue 09-Jun-20 15:15:45

Well we won’t be going out then.

SnackSizeRaisin Tue 09-Jun-20 15:17:24

Are they actually doing this? Cinemas and cafes aren't even open at the moment. I think the toilets will be open when the venues are

vanillandhoney Tue 09-Jun-20 15:17:44

What I don't understand is why some councils are keeping facilities open, but others are insisting theirs have to remain closed.

Our local toilets in the park have been open throughout the lockdown but a few towns over, they've refused to keep theirs open and have insisted they have to close.

They can't both be right confused

AnnaSW1 Tue 09-Jun-20 15:23:51

Councils can do what they want in terms of whether to keep toilets open or not. This is because there is no legal duty for them to provide public toilets. Some just choose to do so.

So when times are hard like this they will, understandably, stop doing the things they don't have to do, so they can focus on doing the things they do have a legal duty to provide.

GinDaddyRedux Tue 09-Jun-20 15:26:55

Their income has been cut in other areas (parking fees etc) so they don't want to shell out on paying for someone to clean them to the provision required during COVID-19.

That's the long and short of it I reckon. And the real reason why so many are closed.

Shallwedancetomojito Tue 09-Jun-20 15:31:43

Where I live, all the public toilets in the town center have been closed throughout.

A couple of weeks ago I was in town and i needed a wee quite badly. But before leaving town, I had an half hour wait (estimated waiting time) in the Wilkinson's cue to get in. There was a nice cafe open around the corner doing drinks to take out. I went in and thought I'd get a latte to stand in the wilkos cue with, and was hoping I could at the same time use their toilet. I ordered my latte and asked where the toilet was to use, to then get told the toilets are now not to be used. So I walk out with a latte I can't even drink as I'm dying for the toilet. I was tempted to say I don't want the latte then, but they was so happy of the custom I just couldn't do it.

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WhatWouldDominicDo Tue 09-Jun-20 15:32:33

Where I go when we go out and about is largely dictated by where I can go, IFYSWIM.

Closing public toilets, like just about everything else, will affect women more than men. I'd put money on a male council deciding that public toilets are superfluous to requirements and therefore expendable.

Disquieted1 Tue 09-Jun-20 15:32:41

If caught short people would sometimes nip into the nearest pub or cafe but that is no longer an option either. What are people to do exactly?
Not everyone has the bladder of Dominic Cummings and can hold it in for five hours.

TingTastic Tue 09-Jun-20 15:35:59

I assumed it was a deliberate ploy to stop people travelling too far from home (eg to the beach)

Shallwedancetomojito Tue 09-Jun-20 15:36:20

But what about the elderly? What about pregnant women? What about us women who are on our monthly? Children? Bladder issues?

We're going to end up with pee sprawled streets. Or people not wanting to drink, so will get dehydrated.

Well I do pay my council tax, so if I go into town again I'll be popping into the council to use their toilet.

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SomewhereInbetween1 Tue 09-Jun-20 15:38:32

Marketing manager of a visitor attraction here, and I'll be honest the guidance we have had on toilets has been murky to say the least. We've closed one of our blocks and kept another open but are requesting people operate on a policy of maximum two people in there at a time, but we know of many other attractions that haven't opened theirs at all. I would say that as of reopening, it's the issue we get the most questions about.

vanillandhoney Tue 09-Jun-20 15:38:57


I assumed it was a deliberate ploy to stop people travelling too far from home (eg to the beach)

A lot of beaches do have toilets open, though.

I just think it's cost-cutting and they're using COVID as an excuse. But it disproportionally affects women, who need to use the facilities more than men (periods, problems due to childbirth, having to look after small children and change babies etc.).

BreconBeBuggered Tue 09-Jun-20 15:39:09

It's not always strength of bladder (not an attribute I possess) that's required, either.

Sandybval Tue 09-Jun-20 15:39:28

The toilets here have remained open throughout (and absolutely spotless, maybe because fewer people are using them, but probably mainly due to the cleaners who have carried on working throughout). But yes, it's ridiculous as it either stops people leaving the house, or people will just go to the loo anyway wherever they can if the need to.

sorryiasked Tue 09-Jun-20 15:42:09

Genuine question, but Isn't the virus spread by bodily fluids? In which case by using a public loo you're more at risk than if you were standing too close to someone in a queue?

Shallwedancetomojito Tue 09-Jun-20 15:45:01

I think if they're seriously going to implement this, they should make public urination legal.

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CarlaH Tue 09-Jun-20 15:45:40

Went for a walk the other day and we were being followed by a woman.

I looked around to make sure she wasn't catching us up and getting to close for comfort only to see that she had pulled her leggings down and was blatently weeing in a pub car park with absolutely no attempt to get out of sight of anybody.

This is what we have come to is it?

BlueJava Tue 09-Jun-20 15:49:21

I assume it's because:
Covid-19 can transfer person to person fairly easily on hard surfaces
They don't have resources to clean after every person
It's not clear if Covid-19 transfers in faeces and urine and this becomes aerosolized when toilets are flushed.

Mnthrowaway20202 Tue 09-Jun-20 15:50:59

Blame filthy members of the public for this, public toilets are currently a public health hazard

Shallwedancetomojito Tue 09-Jun-20 15:51:51

@BlueJava but they could install automatic opening doors. Flushes you don't need to press and taps you just place your hand under and water comes out.

They'll end up opening them back up and charging us to use them.

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cologne4711 Tue 09-Jun-20 15:52:10

They can't both be right

Same with schools which happily teach virtually, and those saying they can't because of safeguarding. Again, they can't be right.

Toilets should be open because they serve a universal medical need. At the moment, my need to go to the toilet is always going to trump any risk of getting covid. If I need to go, I need to go. And I also wonder how councils square this with the Equality Act as women and disabled people are more badly affected by the lack of toilets - most men can have a wee anywhere behind a discrete bush.

They may not have a legal duty to provide them new, but if they are going to close existing provision, they are going to have a very good reason and not having enough money isn't good enough, they find enough other things to waste cash on.

Councils had to be dragged kicking and screaming to reopen tips (and in my area restart the garden waste collection which doesn't start for me until the end of June, even though we pay extra for it) and now they're going to have be dragged kicking and screaming to reopen public toilets. Waste management (whether rubbish or human, in this context) is one of their key jobs but they appear to think it's a massive imposition. I pay around £220 a month council tax, I expect rubbish to be collected and toilets to be provided.

cologne4711 Tue 09-Jun-20 15:52:56

They'll end up opening them back up and charging us to use them

I don't mind paying if they are clean and available to use.

LadyFeliciaMontague Tue 09-Jun-20 15:57:27

but they could install automatic opening doors. Flushes you don't need to press and taps you just place your hand under and water comes out

How do they pay for the ££££ that will cost?

Marylou62 Tue 09-Jun-20 15:58:05

It definitely hasn't stopped people coming to the beach! Our sand dunes, public gardens, alleyways and even in the doctors surgery doorway are where they go.. not for a wee.

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