‘Queensgate is becoming very disabled unfriendly’ - PT readers’ views on toilet facilities at shopping centre

Last week, the Peterborough Telegraph ran an article based on a meeting of the PCVS Disability Forum where it was stated people with disabilities are shunning Queensgate to do their shopping in either Cambridge or Milton Keynes due to a lack of accessible toilets.

By Joel Lamy
Thursday, 6th May 2021, 4:55 am

The article sparked a large reaction on social media, with many of our readers agreeing that the centre is not an inviting place for people to shop if they are disabled or use pushchairs.

Facebook responses

Sean Townsend

They have also got rid of the proper benches. Those stupid soft chairs are nearly impossible to sit down on and as for getting up again don’t even bother trying. And there is no back support either. Queensgate is becoming very disabled unfriendly.

Sean Townsend

I was in there today and needed to sit down. I couldn’t so had to struggle to go into cathedral square and get a seat. Not really much point me shopping in there anymore. I would rather drive an hour to find somewhere more suitable. It’s like disabled toilets outside. Only 1 in the whole city centre. Not much use to anyone who is shopping at wilkos end .

Queensgate Shopping Centre

Demi Fox

Not just disabled but people with babies and pushchairs. I find queensgate appalling for access. Won’t come anymore I would sooner rather travel elsewhere.

Vicki Baker

I said the same today. Toilets are far enough for those without disabilities. There really is nothing left in Queensgate to attract shoppers. It’s no surprise people will be shopping elsewhere

Claire Carter

Been saying this for many years....there needs to be accessible centre toilets, not just ones in M&S or the carpark....it’s too far, not easily accessed, and doesn’t always feel safe to some.

Stuart Aldridge

Needs to be better larger lifts for the disabled , and more toilets, now John lewis is closed thats a major concern for everyone.

Jodi Sharpe

This is so true and not just disabled people what about parents with young children there is nothing available

Andy Baldock

It was a joke this week, puts me off wanting to visit, they need to take a look at meddowhall or others which have working loos !!

Samantha Hurrell

They could turn one of the empty shops into toilet facilities

Katy Rogers

It is an issue and it has been for a long time. Having to use lifts to travel down to the bottom of the car park isn’t good enough. For disabled people especially, and also for parents and babies or anyone with a medical need that requires a toilet regularly.

Pam Thorpe

Going to the toilets on the bottom floor of the carpark was a scary experience many years ago., when we had to use them. No one was around it was very dark smelt awful and you felt very threatened being down there away from everyone on your own with a young child. Would rather not visit Peterborough and go to Milton Keynes where the shoppers feel valued with amazing disabled, child and shopper friendly facilities.

Vicky Johnson

The toilet situation is shocking in Queensgate disabled or not. I try to avoid taking my kids in to shops any way cuz they’re a nightmare but even more so in Queensgate when you know you’ll be hearing ‘Mummy I need a wee’ within 10 mins of being there & there’s hardly any where to take them!

But yeah even worse for disabled people!

Lucy Oliver

I never go into Peterborough because of this. Parking is a huge issue as well.

Susan Wright

The lack of enough public toilets in Peterborough is appalling and certainly needs addressing by pcc.

Twitter responses

Wolfie - @Wolffrith

Milton Keynes new toilet facilities are stunningly good. There are even Changing Places toilet facilities, Carers can change severely disabled people and even shower them if necessary. Where are such facilities in Peterborough? It’s not as if there aren’t empty units for this

Linda Studd - @lindastudd

I’ve never known a shopping centre treat their toilets as such a closely guarded secret. If you’re visiting for the first time you’d be forgiven for never tracking one down. I lived here 15 years before I realised their was one hidden at the top of M&S.

Kate Lindgren - @Kathryn2503

As a guide dog owner I now avoid the Queensgate shopping centre since the closure of BHS there are now no accessible stairs unless you count those in the bus station but that does not help you if you want to move easily around the shopping centre.

St George’s Hydrotherapy Users - @pbhydro_users

@paulbristow79 @ShaileshVara This is concerning Downwards arrow. The closure of John Lewis will make the problem worse. As the city’s MPs, is improving this situation something that you might be able to assist with?