The lack of public toilets in the UK is causing many people to stay at home, a recent report has shown.
A recent survey from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), interviewed more than 2,000 people
and found that three in four adults (74%) believe there are not enough toilets in their area and one in five (20%) said a lack of facilities deters them from leaving home as often as they would like.
This news comes following more than 700 council-run toilet facilities being closed down since 2010 and no viable replacement.
The challenge falls for those that frequent toilets more often including the elderly, those with weaker bladders and ongoing conditions such as diabetes and bowel conditions.
For those that do not have access to public toilets, they may find seek alternatives in supermarkets, restaurants or cafes – although it is not always convenient.
A spokesperson from Focus Washrooms commented: “There is certainly a demand for better provision of public toilets and quality cleanliness too so that vulnerable people can feel comfortable using them. If people are not leaving their homes due to a lack of availability, the perfect solution is to facilitate more quality public washrooms and by people being out and about more, it will likely benefit the economy too.”
Chief executive Shirley Cramer said: “Public toilets are no luxury: it’s high time we begin to see them as basic and essential parts of the community – just like pavements and street lights – that enable people to benefit from and engage with their surroundings.”
“It is deeply concerning that, amidst a national obesity crisis, at a time when public health policy is to encourage outdoor exercise, our declining public toilet provision is in fact encouraging more people to stay indoors.”
“Standing in the way of this necessary and serious policy discussion is a stubbornly persistent ‘toilet taboo’, a decade of cuts to local authorities, and an increasingly ingrained notion that public toilets are merely a ‘nice-to-have’.”
A Local Government Association spokesman said: “Faced with an £8bn funding gap by 2025 and growing demand pressures on adult social care, children’s services and homelessness support, councils have had to make tough choices about how to manage dwindling resources.”
A spokeswoman from The Ministry of Housing said: “Councils, not central government, are responsible for managing their own resources and providing the local services people need, including public toilets.”