Peterborough Unlimited; Campaigners’ delight as Changing Places toilet funding confirmed

Campaigners who have called for accessible toilets for Peterborough have spoken of their delight after the city received £80,000 from the Government for the facilities.

By Stephen Briggs
Tuesday, 29th March 2022, 5:00 am
Graham Barnes trying to access the Changing Places toilet at Car Haven Car Park
Graham Barnes trying to access the Changing Places toilet at Car Haven Car Park

The Changing Places funding will see toilets placed in Ferry Meadows and St Peters Arcade in the city centre - although final details of the locations have yet to be confirmed.

At the moment the only Changing Places disabled toilets in Peterborough city centre are located in the Car Haven car park.

Changing places toilets are larger toilet facilities which include an adult size changing mat and a hoist.

The Peterborough Telegraph’s Peterborough Unlimited highlighted many of the obstacles and difficulties disabled visitors to the city suffered - with a lack of accessible toilets one of the main issues raised.

Actress Julie Fernandez has been campaigning for better access for disabled people in Peterborough, She said it was vital the money was spent in the correct places - but it was good news for the city’s disabled residents.

She said; “It’s great news that we now have the funding for two changing places toilets for Peterborough. We are hoping that one will be placed in Ferry Meadows which will be extremely popular and will allow more disabled people and their friends and family to visit and enjoy the park knowing that they can go to the toilet. The other will be placed in the centre of town.

“In my opinion it is of paramount importance that Peterborough City Council engages with disabled people and disabled led organisations in Peterborough to find out where the best place to put will be, after all it will be disabled people using it.

“Being in consultation with the disabled community is vital to getting this right and not wasting the money received to put the toilet in place.”

Cllr Julie Howell, who has also been pushing for better facilities in the city, welcomed the news for the city.

She said: “I’m delighted that Peterborough’s bid for two Changing Places toilets has been successful, with one located in Ferry Meadows and the other in the city centre (which I pushed for).

“Changing Places toilets are designed to accessible to everyone, including wheelchair users and people who need extra space for more complex toileting needs.

“I notice, however, that Leicester City Council has been granted ten awards for Changing Places toilets, and I wonder if Peterborough is lacking ambition when it comes to creating a city that is available to everyone.

“I cannot stress this enough: clean, safe, accessible toilets will bring more people to Peterborough. When you are living with a disability or condition (and even if you aren’t), knowing you can easily find a decent toilet when you visit a city is a big part of the reason for people choosing to visit and to shop there.

“It’s no secret that many people miss the lovely John Lewis toilets! This success should be seen as a first key step in making the city more accessible to disabled people, but there is so much more to do, including creating wheelchair-friendly routes around the city, better signage and ensuring everyone can successfully access all the shops and other facilities.”

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson said: “Some of the funding is for Nene Park and the rest is for us to explore converting the disabled toilet at St Peter’s Arcade.”

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