Designers and developers of public spaces and venues are being urged to go to the toilet when planning new build or refurbishment projects.
The calls are the result of a new report, which claims the nation’s health, mobility and equality is being threatened by lack of toilet provision away from home.
The headline of the Taking the P*** survey, by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), is that the provision of public toilets should be made compulsory – fewer than 4,500 now exist across the UK.
The survey was published just weeks after the Government announced a consultation on making assisted accessible toilets like Changing Places obligatory.
The RSPH findings are supported by Closomat, a specialist bathroom equipment supplier.
Robin Tuffley, Closomat’s marketing manager, said: “Numerous reports have been done already demonstrating that people make a conscious decision not to go places where they believe they cannot find a suitable toilet.
“Locations that do have good toilet provision find more people visit, they stay longer, and spend more money. That applies across the spectrum of places we go- from town centres to visitor attractions.
“The RSPH survey found that 70% of people wanted more, better toilets in supermarkets; almost as many listed cafes, restaurants, bars. That mirrors our experience in accessible toilet provision.
“We go to the toilet on average eight times a day, so the chances are that, if and when we are out and about, we will need to the toilet.
“All involved in the construction process are essential to answering the call, and meeting the need, to design, build and operate more toilets for the public.”
Building regulations do require provision of toilet facilities in occupied buildings, and state that, if nothing else can be provided it should at least be a wheelchair-accessible unisex WC.