• Sun. May 26th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Toilet Accessibility in the North East: A Study on Disabled Access and Inclusive Communities

Accessible ToiletsThe best and worst places for accessible toilets in the UK

Public toilets are essential for everyone, but for those with disabilities or mobility issues, finding accessible facilities can still be a significant challenge.

Unfortunately, according to a recent study by QS Supplies, access to disabled facilities largely depends on where people live.

Researchers from QS Supplies used data from the Great British Public Toilet Map website to locate every public toilet in the UK. They then calculated the percentage of accessible toilets for every city and council region in the UK.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the survey results, explore why access to disabled public toilets is essential to creating inclusive communities, and see how cities across the North East compared to the rest of the UK.

Why toilet accessibility matters

Without adequate access to public toilets, people with disabilities may be unable to participate in activities such as shopping, attending events or meetings, or simply enjoying a day out with friends and family. 

This can lead to social isolation and exclusion. Furthermore, poor access to toilets can also affect people’s physical health by causing dehydration and urinary tract infections.  

Accessible toilet access is essential to building inclusive communities where everyone can participate and feel welcome.

“Access to public toilets is not a luxury; it’s a basic human right,” says a spokesperson from Disability Rights UK.

“For many disabled people, a lack of access to toilets can be the difference between being part of everyday life or being trapped at home. Accessible toilets are not just a convenience. Instead, they’re a necessity for people with disabilities to live independently and with dignity.”

The best and worst cities in the UK for accessible toilet access 

The QS Supplies survey found that Edinburgh and Brighton have the highest proportion of accessible public toilets. But both cities have received criticism for the condition of their facilities.

The ten UK cities with the worst accessible public toilets are all located in England, with York topping the list. Less than 15% of York’s public toilets have adequate disabled access.

Accessibility access across the North East

So how does the North East compare?

According to QS Supplies, the region still has lots of work to do

Sunderland performed worst of all. Of the 23 public toilets within the city, only 3 are fully accessible to disabled people and those living with mobility issues.

Durham also scored poorly. Only 3 of the 14 public toilets within the city are fully accessible.

Newcastle ranked the highest of all cities and towns in the North East. But with less than 40% of the city’s public toilets classed as accessible, it’s hardly an impressive achievement.

According to the Newcastle City Council’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment report, an estimated 32,000 people in Newcastle upon Tyne have a disability. And yet just 14 out of the city’s 37 public toilets cater to their needs. 

The North East isn’t the worst place in the UK for disabled toilet access, but it’s nowhere near the best.

The final verdict? Must do better.