Peterborough Unlimited: Council given £80,000 to install accessible toilet facilities

Graham Barnes trying to access the Changing Places toilet at Car Haven Car ParkGraham 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
Peterborough City Council has been given £80,000 of funding to install Changing Places toilet facilities.

The Government funding will mean that the council will be able to create facilities that are accessible for disabled people in the city.

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.

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Residents told the PT that they would avoid shopping in Peterborough, choosing to travel elsewhere because of the lack of facilities.

Michelle King, CEO at Little Miracles, a parent led support group for families with children that have additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions, said recently: “I take my little boy to Milton Keynes and we go shopping.

“It’s a couple of hours out the way but there’s a place where he can get changed. That’s our sole reason.”

Wendy Van-Ristell, Peterborough shop manager for disability equality charity Scope, said: “The toilets are very important. That stops a lot of people with disabilities coming into town. As far as I know the only changing places (fully accessible) toilet is at Car Haven. We desperately need somewhere centrally at Queensgate so people can come and meet friends, have a meal or drink and have access to a specific toilet facility for them.”

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Local autism campaigner Nazreen Bibi explained why it is vital more are introduced into the city centre: “Changing places toilets are larger toilet facilities which include an adult size changing mat and a hoist, enabling more than 250,000 severely disabled people to have greater access to public places including town shopping centres.

“A change in building regulations in England now requires thousands of large 12m sized, well equipped fully accessible toilet facilities. These include equipment such as hoists, curtains, large bins, adult size changing benches and space for carers.

“Often people have reported that they have avoided using the city centre or refrain from drinking fluids so that they can avoid accidents and children have had to wait longer to have their dirty pads changed. It’s unacceptable.”

The council has not yet revealed when and how the money will be spent. The Peterborough Telegraph has approached the authority for comment