Nearly two dozen service stations along England’s motorways are to install toilets suitable for people with disabilities who are unable to use standard accessible facilities.
A total of 22 service stations have been awarded Government funding to introduce fully accessible Changing Places toilets to their premises, the Department of Transport (DfT) has announced.
An estimated quarter of a million people cannot use standard disabled toilets. This is due to issues such as severely limited mobility, with many people requiring bulky equipment or assistance from one or more carers to get on and off the toilet or to have their continence pads changed.
Changing Places toilets are more spacious and come equipped with adult-sized changing benches and hoists, allowing people with conditions such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy to use the bathroom safely and comfortably.
New Changing Places toilet locations
Motorway Service Station Motorway County Moto rugby M6 Warwickshire Knutsford Services NB M6 Cheshire Ferrybridge Services M62 West Yorkshire Reading EB M4 Berkshire Heston WB M4 Greater London Hilton Park SB M6 Staffordshire Strensham North M5 Worcestershire Tibshelf South M1 Derbyshire Tibshelf North M1 Derbyshire Taunton Deane North M5 Somerset Strensham South M5 Worcestershire Sedgemoor M5 Somerset Rownhams South M27 Hampshire Northampton South M1 Northamptonshire Northampton North M1 Northamptonshire Maidstone M20 Kent Durham A1(M) County Durham Clacket Lane West M25 Surrey Chester MSA M56 Cheshire Gloucester NB M5 Gloucestershire Tebay SB M6 Cumbria Birchanger M11 Essex
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “In a modern country, everyone should be able to travel.
“Despite improvements in some areas, we need our roadside services to be better for the quarter of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets.”
Catherine Woodhead, chief executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, which co-chairs the Changing Places Consortium, a group campaigning for the facilities to be provided in shopping centres, sports grounds, railways and airports, said: “Too many disabled people and their families are excluded from doing things that others take for granted because there are not enough Changing Places. We’re delighted that, thanks to the DfT’s funding, 22 service stations will be installing these facilities.”
Ms Woodhead added: “We won’t stop campaigning until every service station in the country has a Changing Places toilet, and we would encourage businesses who haven’t done so already to apply for funding in the next round of applications.”