Roadside toilets - bell boy
when i were a lad there were at least 6 public conveniances that i can vaguelly recollect dotted around my town for the purpose that they were intended
now there are non zilch
there arent even decent bits of land with a bush as these now host trendy loft apartments (empty i might add)
one goes for a drive and one needs to go what is one to do?
go abroad and you are attacked at every junction with a clean reliable smiling faced assistant ready to take your half euro but its a pleaseure to go
no wonder this country is festooned with half full bottles of used "pop "in the gutters,glad im not a street cleaner

saw another pair of trainers on a telephone line again today,sure its a sign of something

Edited by Pugugly on 31/05/2009 at 18:10

roadside toilets - pmh2
French laybys are generally surrounded by luxuriant growth. Probably encouraged by the english who try to disappear behind a bush. The french do not bother to be so discrete.

The nation have not yet succumbed to any nasty (viral or otherwise) diseases not encountered in the UK. From memory even the french cows did not suffer from mad-cow disease - perhaps organically fertilized grass gives protection. Now there is an idea!

roadside toilets - Westpig
This country is dreadful for the non provision of public lavatories.

I know they get vandalised and there's a likelihood of an army of men lurking there waiting for... er... other men...but surely other countries have got round these issues..or are we the only country where are youths smash hell out of the loos and men use them as pick up joints and worse.

....and just to show i'm not picking on men of that cannot go into some of our local parks nowadays, because of the proliferation of doggers...and those of you not aware of what that is, it's got nothing to do with walking your dog
roadside toilets - Rattle
I find McDonalds very handy for this, the only problem is it usually costs 89p (their cheapest ek em food they sell).
roadside toilets - Lud
Pubs are a great standby.

They don't usually insist you buy a refill then and there either.

It's true a lot of public lavatories have been closed down. And it's true that some of them used to be a bit of an obstacle course with distasteful characters hanging about eyeing the urine-soaked bread they often seemed to have bits of.

There are a few of these automatic jobs though, a French design I believe, that used to cost four bob to use but may be eight bob now for all I know.

'Excuse me a minute. Just going to spend a small fortune.' And you wouldn't want to be trapped in one during the hose-out cycle. Dangerous things, high-tech bogs. Remember the bloke who dropped his phone down one on an aircraft, tried to retrieve it and had to be removed from the plane with the bog still attached?
roadside toilets - Rattle
I usually just offer 50p or buy a packet of crisps if I need to use a pub. Although sometimes on a saturday night if I am town and need the loo and the next bar is a long way away I might pop in and use the loo anyway but only if I am a regular customer there.

I believe those high tech boxes have an emergency manual door opening system if you did get jammed in.
roadside toilets - Lud
I find that asking the bar staff politely works fine Rattle, although come to think of it I used to have a quick one to pay the pub back when I was younger... that's a bit counter-unproductive though if you see what I mean. But perhaps I was thirstier then.

Bar staff and landlords and ladies don't usually care at all. And they know from your mode of address that you won't miss the bowl, get vomit on the wall or fail to flush, as a percentage of the regulars will...
roadside toilets - gordonbennet
This is one for swmbo, around the Western side of London mainly when she was mini cabbing, chauffering and dispatch motor cycling over many years, the lack of public toilets even then was bad.

She swears her bladder is ruined by having to wait interminably to find somewhere to go..up to a point it's not so bad for us chaps we'll find somewhere discreet rather than burst.

This really is a national disgrace...the loo situation not swmbo's bladder..;)

Should imagine Pat (pda) will be commenting on this one, trying to find somewhere to park an artic whilst a lady trucker visits the loo is a nightmare.
shewee anyone?
roadside toilets - Robin Reliant
There was a proposal sometime last year for local councils to offer businesses such as pubs and cafes £500 per annum in exchange for opening their loos to the general public. It would save the authorities considerably more than that in building and servicing costs and give a nice little earner to participating establishments as well as the possibility of extra trade.

Never heard any more about it, though.
roadside toilets - Bilboman
I'm surprised there isn't a clause in Human Rights legislation about this; it's one of my pet peeves. It seems that since MT absolutely every concept once known as public "service" (from hospitals to schools via directory enquiries, public transport and more or less everything else) has to be (1) privatised; (2) run for profit; (3) league tabled and (if failing on points (2) or (3) closed down.
Public toilets, whether at the roadside or anywhere else, should be freely available and properly run for the benefit of everyone. On my last trip to the UK I had to withdraw cash for an eye-watering amount of commission (I can just about survive on cashcard for most trips back nowadays) to get 30p for the toilets at Euston Station. Must be raking it in...
It is utterly undignified and disgraceful to expect a fully fit person, much less someone who is disabled or suffering from any number of medical conditions, to have to go into a shop to ASK. Sufferers of prostate problems cannot get a key to disabled toilet as easily as a wheelchair bound person.
I've noticed in Spain over the years a lot of public toilets being closed down to discourage drugs use but a lot of Superloos and even some French style "pissoirs" taking their place.

Edited by Pugugly on 31/05/2009 at 18:11

roadside toilets - jc2
roadside toilets - bonzodog
Over the years the standard of public toilets has been getting increasingly worse & I avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Personally I put it down to the human vermin that cannot control themselves in such places- either in their vandalistic behaviour or in their toilet habits; quite why blokes insist on urinating when the toilet seat is down is a complete mystery, especially when there are urinals provided!!!!

But I must compliment Llandudno council for the standard of the toilet in the town centre. I took my two daughters a few weeks back; not only were they clean & tidy but the attendant, noticing they were two young girls (5 & 8), sugested I took them in the disabled toilet as they could both stay with me in privacy.
roadside toilets - Hamsafar
I wouldn't dare go into one. I have public toilet phobia.
However, you should not travel with a full bladder, as in a crash it can burst and kill you. In the army and other forces, they drill this into recruits before they prepare for action.

Edited by Hamsafar on 31/05/2009 at 19:09

roadside toilets - mike hannon
>And you wouldn't want to be trapped in one during the hose-out cycle.<

That actually happened to a friend of mine last year, in Ireland. (Yes, he is Irish, but from the North and this was the South).
He spotted the door undone at the auto loo for handicapped persons and nipped in, thinking 'result!'
He hobbled out about 5 minutes later, soaked through and bruised after being flattened against the wall! He's a big lad, too. He said it was like a horror film - everything slammed shut, no light and this mechanical device started up, sprayed him then advanced and started crushing him. Apparently there's a brief delay with the door unlocked between the previous's client's departure and the cleaning process.
Sometimes it's just worth spending an euro...
roadside toilets - wotspur
like you me lud,I find pubs a great standby... even when they have posters up,"for use only by cusmotemrs".. I've always wondered what they can actually do - I'd loved to be refused and see what response I d get, to "well this is a public house isn't it, and Im a member of the public" -more difficult in a free house
-fortunately I'm in sales -seeing members of the public in their own home, and only once in 18 years have I been refused the request to use a toilet -unfortunately i was rather desperate, so I had to use a well known eating establishment-
but for the normal roadside toilets -errr no thanks horrible smelly places frequented by dodgy people who don't want to use them
Roadside toilets - Tron

>>saw another pair of trainers on a telephone line again today, sure its a sign of something

BB - Do you know, it must be the latest craze? I live near two schools and the route is littered with shoes, tie's, jackets, shirts and even a school bag hanging from not only telephone lines but the tree's too?

Same as the town centre - mostly girls sling back style shoes - usually tied with a bra!

The mind boggles why?!

But you are right about toilets here in the UK - the Euro's have it easy don't they? The rest of Europe has 1 or 2 Euro pay toilets on virtually every other street corner.

We have to run the risk of meeting the wrath of an angry landlord if they catch us not buying a drink on the way out, a fine if there are no other places for you to pop in to and even a court appearance if we get caught short though.

Mind you, the food may be carp in the fast food outlets in your local high street etc., but at least the toilets are (sort of) clean!

I have always wondered that if we were caught short and the only building you could make it to was the local police station and we entered and asked - would they let us use their toilets?

Seriously now - stopped a few weeks back on the A42 at one of the lay-by?s there - not sure what breed of motorist it is but the human activity that had gone on in those bushes at that lay-by were disgusting to say the least - faeces everywhere and it was rank. I can understand urinated but defecating in any part of an easily accessible public place in just not acceptable at all.

Roadside toilets - AlastairW
Managed to get 3 for the price of 1 in one of those new fangled electronic ones this afternoon in Lytham. Me and my 2 boys piled in to the cubicle together, rather than wasting two further 20pence pieces.
Roadside toilets - bathtub tom
I remember hearing it's legal to urinate against a wheel of a vehicle. One of those antiquated laws that requires taxi drivers to carry hay for the horse?
Roadside toilets - gordonbennet
urinate against a wheel of a vehicle.

That'll explain the many threads on technical re seized calipers.
Roadside toilets - Dave_TD
stopped a few weeks back on the A42 at one of the lay-by?s there - not sure what breed of motorist it is

I know what breed of motorist it is - most likely an overseas truck driver who doesn't want to pay the overnight parking charges at a MSA and has run out of driving hours. The A42 is very bad for this because it's the only stretch with laybys for a great distance on the route from SW England to NE England, they could well have driven for 3 or 4 hours non-stop and found themselves unable to make it to the next conventional toilet.

Not wishing to bash foreign truckers but I speak as I find.

Dave TD.
Roadside toilets - 1400ted
I just used to carry an empty 5ltre can, stop in a layby and use the angle between the passenger door and the cab as a screen....not in town centre though.
Was told by a french freind that the ladies of the loo over there were generally known as ' Madame PeePee '.....try it and report back if you get a slap !

Roadside toilets - pda
It certainly is a problem for me but garage forecourts are my saviour!

The problem with layby's is that while I am happy to duck under the trailer, it means I have to find an empty layby in the first place because it's a natural reaction to watch when someone pulls in.

Having said that, I do avoid layby's with toilets in like the plague for a night out..........far too noisy!

Roadside toilets - L'escargot
Public toilets are in short supply because the level of vandalism makes them too expensive to maintain.

Blame it on the low moral standards of the British population, not the authorities.

I know of one public toilet situated in a well-used layby on a main road which had to be closed for a while because all the fittings had been stolen. I know of a village bus shelter which had to be demolished because the cost or repairing frequent damage caused by vandals became too high. I know of a pavilion on a village playing field which has had to have a steel barricade built all around it to try to reduce vandalism. The gates of the barricade are only opened when a football match is in progress.

The thing about low moral standards is that we're all to blame. Yes, all of us, including you. Until children are made to behave by their parents, by their teachers, and by the police things won't get any better. In my younger days we behaved because we knew that if we didn't didn't we'd be subjected to corporal punishment ~ by our parents, our teachers and the police.

Blame the situation on the low moral standards of the British population, which is being perpetuated by the do-gooders who say that corporal punishment is not acceptable.
Roadside toilets - Westpig
The thing about low moral standards is that we're all to blame. Yes all of
us including you. Until children are made to behave by their parents by their teachers and by the police things won't get any better. In my younger days we behaved
because we knew that if we didn't didn't we'd be subjected to corporal punishment ~
by our parents our teachers and the police.
Blame the situation on the low moral standards of the British population which is being perpetuated by the do-gooders who say that corporal punishment is not acceptable.

Our wonderful Govt has its' part to play in encouraging the empowerment of schoolkids, to the detriment of common sense and order which prevents teachers and police officers from playing their roles in ensuring our youth conform to some semblance of decency, morals wise. It's a brave member of either profession willing to dive in nowadays, SWMBO is a teacher and i'm the latter. Who wants to be subject of a formal investigation for assault, because you've allegedly manhandled some swearing, obnoxious oik who knows all the ploys and has nothing whatsoever to fear?
Roadside toilets - Harleyman
It's not just vandalising kids that are a problem either; there were a perfectly servicableset of loos on the A449 just above Newport, which were closed and flattened because of persistent indecent behaviour, much to the irritation of the large number of lorry drivers who used that layby in preference to the risk of being disturbed or mugged at the prostitute and thief-frequented Newport lorry park; which you will not be surprised to know was within spitting distance of the main Newport police station!

The lack of decent facilities for overnighting lorry drivers (especially when compared to mainland Europe) is a national disgrace. No-one, of course, likes lorries and everyone wishes they weren't there, but those same people expect drivers of same to park anywhere except within five miles of where THEY live and STILL have everything delivered ASAP. I'm glad I am home every night now.
Roadside toilets - L'escargot
It's not just vandalising kids that are a problem either;

My point was that vandalising kids often grow up to be vandalising youths and finally lawless or antisocial grown-ups.

The situation wasn't always as bad as it is now. In my younger days graffiti was virtually non-existent. Chewing gum on the pavement and on pedestrianised areas was virtually non-existent. Litter was rare. Fly-tipping was virtually non-existent. Theft and burglary were rare. House doors could be (and usually were) left unlocked from the minute you took the milk off the doorstep to the minute you went to bed or left the house unoccupied. You could prop your bicycle up against the kerb anywhere you liked and know that it would still be there when you returned. (You still can in Louth, Lincolnshire.) You could walk absolutely anywhere on your own, at any time of the day or night, without the fear of being mugged. Believe it or not, this was in Britain during my lifetime, not on some other planet.

What went wrong? In my opinion it was the outlawing of corporal punishment.

There'll always be a shortage of public toilets until a reduction in the level of vandalism makes it economically viable for damage to be repaired.
Roadside toilets - Westpig
What went wrong? In my opinion it was the outlawing of corporal punishment.

100% agree. Knee jerk legislation and/or Home Office guidelines etc by a Govt that thinks the next headline needs legislation to 'show they're doing something'. No one in their right mind thinks a child needs to be beaten black and blue (and all the legislation of the past was more than sufficient to deal with this), but you have to have something up your sleeve as a 'what if' e.g. teacher with a ruler or the head with a cane (it was the fear of it, rather than the actual punishment), because the nature of the beast is they'll push their luck to the nth degree. .. and more.

I did a Google search on a piece of legislation (when not at work, can't use a Legal Database) to firm up an answer on this site (legislation changes so much and I didn't want to be caught out..and DVD seems to know his stuff...:-)). What i found, which in fact answered my question, was a whole load of stuff as a teachers guide, within the National Curriculum...but what opened my eyes was other bits afterwards... which was basically telling kids 'their rights' and what forms they should be served when stopped by police and how to complain if they feel it hasn't gone right etc...i was quite shocked. No wonder the little sods have become so stroppy over the years. Whatever happened to the 'do as you are told if an adult tells you, esp someone in authority'?...Of course it's never the decent kids that answer back, (if they get stopped in the first place)'s always the oik...and invariably they've got the wrong end of the stick and think they know the answer when they don't. I queried this with SWMBO, even though she's primary not secondary..and her response of 'try working in that environment' was a sad indictment of our system..because a more pleasant, committed, patient lady you will not meet (she has to be, to be married to me!).

It's the same with many of our motoring laws (to bring it back to motoring)...hastily banged out laws, not properly thought through with unforeseen consequences. Why do these people think that just because they're in power they know it all and should therefore act. Why not ask people that do know their stuff, then have a consensus and try to get it right in the first place.
Roadside toilets - b308
vandalising kids

Yep, I could think of several kids I'd like to vandalise!

I agree with you, L'escargot, things have definitely gone downhill since the "clip round the ear" days... tbh its gone too far the other way now, kids seem to think they are untouchable which is not good for the future...

Edited by b308 on 02/06/2009 at 09:57

Roadside toilets - Cliff Pope
I remember once stumbling around in a nice dark secluded layby, set back on a loop off the road. I was dying to go, but every time I found a spot, there was another car tucked away in the undergrowth.
That's another expression you don't hear now - the coyled worded "courting couple".
Roadside toilets - Westpig
blimey could have been mistaken for a 'dogger'
Roadside toilets - smokie
Bring back public flogging I say.

But that's not motoring related, so back to roadside toilets please.

smokie, Moderator
Roadside toilets - CGNorwich
You still can in Louth, Lincolnshire.

My car was broken into in the car park in Louth 3 years ago - nothing taken but it cost me new window. Police said it was not unusual
Roadside toilets - bell boy
Police said it was not unusual

>.> are you sure it wasnt tom jones.?
as for louth what a boring place i had the displeasure to live there for 14 months, i took to counting hedges in my spare time to keep my sanity.
I used to drive to legbourne for a single pint before it bacame politically incorrect (1979)
Roadside toilets - the swiss tony

>>. You could prop your bicycle up against the kerb anywhere you liked and know that it would
still be there when you returned. (You still can in Louth Lincolnshire.)

Well.... until Mr Snail told all the bicycle thieves where the easiest pickings are you could............
Roadside toilets - Chris S
saw another pair of trainers on a telephone line again today sure its a sign
of something

gangs use them to denote their teritory, they're usually stolen from a member of a rival gang
Roadside toilets - Cliff Pope
gangs use them to denote their teritory they're usually stolen from a member of a
rival gang

For a long time there was a pair dangling from the underside of Cardigan bridge over the river Tivy. These kayak gangs are becoming a menace.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 02/06/2009 at 20:32