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Where have the toilets gone? - RaineMan

Many years ago when I was a child, and also in my early motoring career, bank holidays usually meant a dash to the coast. I am sure in those days every town and largish village had public toilets available for when people needed a comfort break. Many of these seem to have been closed down or have gone completely, which can sometimes result in a fairly frantic search. Obviously there are now many out-of-town superstores but often their toilets seem out of order (and providing this service is not their main purpose in life).

These days there seem to be targets for everything and I was wondering if there was one for public toilets? My feeling is if there is it is not being achieved by most councils.
Where have the toilets gone? - Pugugly
They are being closed by cash strapped councils also as they are the target of "unlawful" use in various ways to the extent that cheesed off communities want them to go.
Where have the toilets gone? - NowWheels
These days there seem to be targets for everything and I was wondering if there
was one for public toilets? My feeling is if there is it is not being
achieved by most councils.


I think that there is a target, and that it is being achieved: a target of zero.

After the Tories took over here in Bradford about six years ago, they closed all the public toilets. Who knows why, because after they demolished the toilet in my village they replaced it with a bench, some flowers and set of thoroughly naff braille sculptures, which probably cost as much in vandalism repair as the toilets cost to maintain.

OTOH, the toilets were smack across the road from a pub with perfectly good toilet, so it's not a great inconvenience, and the public loos were too disgusting to use. Plus the Tories run the council much better than Neues Arbeit did, so losing the loos was definitely a price worth paying. I'd much prefer a few less toilets than a foolish invasion of Afghanistan :)

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 28/05/2008 at 22:26

Where have the toilets gone? - ifithelps
Wasn't/Isn't there some scheme to get pubs and shops to formally open their customer toilets to non-customers?
Where have the toilets gone? - gordonbennet
Now you've been and gorn and done it RM

If i tell swmbo about this thread, she'll grab the keyboard and rant all night. (and i can rant quite enough)
TBH i fully sympathise as well, and as the majority of us chaps know, at least those past the first flush of youth, that its bad enough for us, but at least on a country route we can wander off into the bushes for a time, if nowhere available.

Very difficult for the fairer sex, especially if travelling alone, and councils should be forced to provide decent places, with a few dedicated parking spaces with a max ten minute stay.

Its amazing the complete lack of proper toilet facilities in this country, often closing by 5pm anyway, even on major retail parks there will be no facilities provided, and most retailers will not allow customers to use their toilets.
Well thats fair enough as retailers with that attitiude don't get any of GB's lolly.

And don't get me started on the state of some of the service stations stinking places, usually with some sort of indecipherable checking record that looks like its been crawled over by a spider with a ball point stuck to a foot.

I totally agree that supermarkets shouldn't have to supply toilets for the general travelling public either.

Up to a point, rather strange men (usually) have helped cause this problem by using said loos as er..meeting places, but thats a separate problem.

Off at a slight tangent, i wonder if the routes to the coast are much quieter this year with the fuel situation being the way it is?

Where have the toilets gone? - b308
Haven't all the toilets moved into the 24 hour supermarkets?
Where have the toilets gone? - RaineMan

>OTOH, the toilets were smack across the road from a pub with perfectly good toilet, so it's >not a great inconvenience

The problem is that many pubs now display signs saying that ?The toilets are for patrons only?. If you are not careful a group of you spend £10 to spend a penny!


>Haven't all the toilets moved into the 24 hour supermarkets?

Many have but they are frequently out of order. Some supermarkets have now cut back on hours, as sales are often minimal in the early hours. In addition they are limited to six hours on a Sunday and often restrict their hours on a bank holiday.
Where have the toilets gone? - tintin01
The toilet block near the park in my old village was demolished due to having become a meeting place and even my local Sainsbury's (in a leafy suburb) have shut their men's toilets temporarily due to "inappropriate use", though I think that may be drugs.
Where have the toilets gone? - bintang
As in so many ways, Scots seem to be better off in this, or at least, Orcadians do. In Orkney, earlier this month, I found plenty of toilets, even in remote country carparks. They were eqipped with good quality fittings and, amazingly to a Southerner, they were clean - even the one on the dockside in Kirkwall! (The people are more civilised, too.)

Where have the toilets gone? - Harleyman
Same applies in Wales, Bintang, at least in the West where I live. Most decent-sized villages have a public loo which is usually well-kept. Some have moved on to the individual cubicle type where you pay 20p, but many are free although they tend to be locked after 6 o'clock.


As a truck driver I depend on this sort of facility not only for the obvious but also as a means of getting cleaned up after a day's work. It annoys me intensely that a combination of certain men and mindless vandals cause councils to have to close public toilets.

Edited by PoloGirl on 25/05/2008 at 19:10

Where have the toilets gone? - RaineMan

Harleyman, you have hit the nail on the head there. As with so many things these days it seems the innocent have to suffer rather than the guilty! If councils applied the same zeal to prosecuting these people as they they do to catching motorists who overstay by a few minutes or people who put their bin bag out a few hours early the problem would soon be cured (with appropriate punishment).
Where have the toilets gone? - Pugugly
Worth you popping to Anglesey - The village with the longest name has a particularly squalid public toilet - with some very strange men hanging around it. And the one in Llangefni is reminiscent of something east of Suez on a hot day, not helped by drug paraphernalia discarded inside it. All within sight of the County Council Offices ( a clean/expensive building !).
Where have the toilets gone? - isisalar
As one who has done many a 12hour shift on the road it is indeed a major difficulty.Oh the joy of spotting a McDonalds sign in a strange town,because in most places ,it's the only place to go.The most annoying thing though are the petrol stations that deny having toilets or make them 'staff only'.
Where have the toilets gone? - Westpig
The most annoying thing though are the petrol stations that deny having toilets or make them 'staff only'.

my pet hate too...'come and fill up with fuel, shop in our shop, spend your hard earnt cash here..but sod off if you want to use the lavatory, it's for staff only'

marvellous, really makes you feel worthy as a customer. What do these people think you're likely to want to do on a long journey;

-fill up with fuel
-grab a snack/drink
-freshen up
-use the loo

and yet on the continent you can pull in and eat your own sandwiches if you want to on a table provided, with a clean toilet block nearby. Why are we second class citizens over here?
Where have the toilets gone? - Pugugly

"and yet on the continent"


Just thinking of what "Humph" would say if fed a line like that ! :-)
Where have the toilets gone? - Harleyman
I wonder if some of it's down to a local pride in the community. When I first moved down here, the sight of old ladies sweeping the bit of pavement outside their houses every morning took me back to another era. Another bit of Britain that's been largely lost in this self-centred, "blame everyone else but me" age.

One other thing I tend to notice these days, which is related to the original topic; more and more pubs and cafes have notices on the door advising the public that the toilets are for "customers' use only", however I personally feel that you can't really blame them for doing so.
Where have the toilets gone? - slowdown avenue
i find difficult to find supermarkets in strange towns due them being hidden by conifers and i believe they arnt allowed to place signage, so i cant find any petrol either because all the petrol stations have closed down as well. so i just run into the bushes these days and i dont worry about it anymore . what can you do
Where have the toilets gone? - L'escargot
Where have all the toilets gone?
Long time passing
........
........
........
Girls have picked them every one

;-D
Where have the toilets gone? - Waino
With an ageing population, and GPs incentivised to prescribe anti-hypertension drugs (often diuretics), the problems are only going to get worse.

My work takes me all over East Anglia and I have now developed a mental log of useful hedges on my most frequently travelled routes. It gets easier in the summer when the hedges are in full leaf!
Where have the toilets gone? - PoloGirl
>Very difficult for the fairer sex

Not if they have a SheWee ;-)

Where have the toilets gone? - Westpig
Not if they have a SheWee ;-)

can a member of the crowd and mere minion issue a 'yellow card'. Whatever one of those is I don't want to know.... and it's approaching a meal time.
Where have the toilets gone? - Stuartli
As one who lives in a North West resort (not Blackpool), the disappearance or decline of most public toilets has been the subject of much controversy over the years.

The Labour council concentrated on working with local retail outlets for the public to use their facilities, but did eventually do some toilets up and also introduce one of those 20p a time Continental style self-cleaning types in the town centre.

Didn't go down too well.

The problem of lack of toilets is obviously of even more concern in a resort, which attracts many thousands of visitors; mind you, the fact that NHS big wigs decided two or three years ago that the hospital's A and E won't treat children any more really took the biscuit.

They must now go to a hospital some seven or eight miles away along a very busy single-carriage way road - as you can imagine, in the summer the traffic is bumper to bumper for most of its length.
Where have the toilets gone? - frazerjp
I can remember my parents telling me about their stay in Scarborough last year, whilst at the resort they have these 20p WC's at the top of the cliff or the the shabby ones down by the pier, something like that anyway... or.. simply struggle back to your holiday apartment!

I generally find WC's at service stations quite a mixture.
The ones at the main service presinct are usualy pretty good, it's the filling station sites that are pretty mank.
Service station loos are often inspected every hour or so like moto's do if you ever been in one. Where as the filling stations arn't, might normally only cleaned every other day.

Where have the toilets gone? - PoloGirl
Not if they have a SheWee ;-)

>can a member of the crowd and mere minion issue a 'yellow card'. Whatever one of those is I don't want to >know.... and it's approaching a meal time.

It's a very handy thing to have in your backpack when you're miles from anywhere out walking... and lack the co-ordination not to pee on your trousers...

www.shewee.com/ - nothing disgusting about it imo!

Edited by PoloGirl on 25/05/2008 at 23:00

Where have the toilets gone? - Pugugly
Too much information.
Where have the toilets gone? - PoloGirl
I didn't say *I* had one though!

Anyway, back on topic... I think I'd rather wet myself than stop at a toilet in a layby with only lorry drivers for company. Always better to take a detour into a town or to a super market, in my opinion.
Where have the toilets gone? - gordonbennet
Anyway back on topic... I think I'd rather wet myself than stop at a toilet
in a layby with only lorry drivers for company. Always better to take a detour
into a town or to a super market in my opinion.


I didn't realise us truck jockeys had such an appalling reputation, why would you be concerned about being near truck drivers?

Let me assure you of one thing, in the circumstances you say of feeling desperate and at a layby with a working toilet, regardless of how you feel about us, you will be totally safe, and in the event of any one causing you a problem, said truckies are likely to sort the problem out for you PDQ. That won't happen in the town.

Do tell pray why we truckies are thought of so badly.
Where have the toilets gone? - PoloGirl
Apologies Gordon Bennett, it was a sweeping generalisation that I should retract, bourne out of the memory of one person - Celine Figard. I was 15 when that happened and for some reason it has stayed with me ever since, even remembering her name without needing to google it. Probably partly because we used to regularly stop in the layby where she ended up.

I should clarify - I wouldn't stop in a layby, particularly at night, if there were lorry drivers there, but equally if there was a man on his own in a car, or a few men on their own in different cars (but that's a whole other thread!) there I wouldn't stop either. I guess I'm just paranoid!

Edit: thought better of starting a debate about lorry drivers!

Edited by PoloGirl on 26/05/2008 at 00:10

Where have the toilets gone? - ifithelps
I guess I'm just paranoid!


Wise, more like - sad that should be the case, but it is.
Where have the toilets gone? - gordonbennet
I'm sorry you feel that way about truck drivers Polo Girl, quite honestly we really are a bunch of harmless eccentric nut cases.

The drivers sleeping in their cabs have no choice i'm afraid, (i haven't for a few years now, but who knows where the economy's going), they are usually hundreds of miles from home and many of them are away living in that tin can all week, and some on really long distance work for several weeks at a time.

The average lorry driver will be using his 'night out' pay to subsidise his appalling wages, the n/o allowance will be anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds, anything more is taxable (gosh thats a shock i bet), and many firms do not reimburse their driver if he parks in a service area (some 14 to 17 pounds), hence you see them living like tramps all over the country.

And things are set to get worse for British hauliers and drivers, and this govts uphill playing field against own own only makes things more desperate.

Don't forget, many of these chaps will be female lorry drivers and they are in just the same predicament, only far worse re the toilet situation and obvious personal security, my own sister has been truck driving for more years than me, but she is on very specialised work and though very well paid, still has to live out of a truck.

I'll say again to you, if you find yourself in a dodgy or unfamiliar or dangerous situation, seek the help of an older British truck driver, the overwhelming majority of whom are the salt of the earth, you won't go far wrong.

All the best.
Where have the toilets gone? - Stuartli
To switch from toilets to lorry drivers for a moment - I recall watching on TV a few months ago the cab life of one of Eddie Stobart's drivers.

He drove up and down the UK's motorways all week yet, at the weekend, instead of putting his feet up, would drive his missus to major shopping malls up to 150 miles away for a day's shopping...:-)

Edited by Stuartli on 26/05/2008 at 00:58

Where have the toilets gone? - L'escargot
I should clarify - I wouldn't stop in a layby particularly at night if there
were lorry drivers there but equally if there was a man on his own in
a car or a few men on their own in different cars (but that's a
whole other thread!) there I wouldn't stop either.


What a low opinion you must have of men in general. Sad.
Where have the toilets gone? - NowWheels
snipquote (and not for the first time either!
What a low opinion you must have of men in general. Sad.


The majority of men are not rapists, but the minority who do commit such crimes tend to attack in particular circumstances; darkness and a lack of other people around are key factors. That's why most women take care to avoid those situations, and constrain their movements in ways which men don't need to do.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 26/05/2008 at 15:04

Where have the toilets gone? - Pugugly
I agree with PG in essence. In the real world lay-byes are used for all kinds of purposes other than what the road builders had in mind, from dogging to cruising. Even as a basic modesty issue, If I were a woman I would be unhappy to pee in a lay-bye with cars or lorries in it - not all men are pink and fluffy by the way.

Can you stop quoting posts or they'll be chopped ! (I thought we'd got over this !)
Where have the toilets gone? - Lud
I was once for several hours flying across North Africa with other hacks in an elderly Soviet propjet passenger aircraft that had sat two days without anyone emptying the lavatory, which was dangerously abrim and unusable.

By contorting yourself in the tiny loo it was just possible, if you were a man, to pee in the handbasin which was tiny, high up and under the curve of the fuselage, whose waste pipe apparently just scattered anything put down it in the air outside the plane.

The fury of the one woman on the plane, a small but hard-bitten cheroot-chomping French news agency stringer, when she realised what she had to cope with was awesome to behold.
Where have the toilets gone? - RaineMan

This brought back a somewhat unpleasant memories! A few years ago I made a train journey where I had to change trains a number of times. Waiting at one station I had a coffee and decided I had time for a comfort break before my train arrived. At a few mintes past 4:00 pm the toilets were locked with a note saying they closed early for security! An apparent regular on the line told me they cleaned then mid-afternoon and then locked them to the next morning so they looked good for the morning's commuters. Unhappy with this I went to the ticket office and was told that all the trains had toilets. Mine had two. One was out of order and locked, and the other was brimful with a stench that made you feel ill! My subsequent e-mail to the train company got an acknowledgement but no reply.
Where have the toilets gone? - bintang
Didn't there used to be a rule that you could pee against the offside (nearside?) wheel of your carriage (or maybe your horse's leg)? I wonder if it applies to cars?

Re Celine Figard, whose killer was a near neighbour of mine:

-Her father said after the murder that she was naive and trusting. So he sent his naive, trusting young daughter off with a relative she apparently scarcley knew, who put her down alone in a remote area of a country she didn't know either.

-Young French girls are usually self-confident but rash. There was a year during which I went up and down the M6 a bit and occasionally gave lifts to solitary French girl students at service stations. They were quite happy to be put off, sometimes in the dark, at junctions off the motorway. I always asked if they didn't find their behaviour risky but they couldn't see it.

Material for counsel for the defence.
Where have the toilets gone? - ifithelps
The hooded monster who jumps out from behind the bushes and rapes a stranger is, thankfully, rare.

Most victims know their attacker in some way, even if they may only have met that evening, at a friend's house or in a nightclub.

A lone woman in a layby late at night is obviously at risk of all manner of unpleasant behavior from passing males, but rape is unlikely.

The above could also be said of murder.
 

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