Toilet map shows just a handful of accessible conveniences in Wigan
A map of publicly available accessible toilets shows just a handful of in Wigan, as campaigners call for better facilities for those living with disabilities.
The Great British Public Toilet Map tracks publicly available toilets using crowd-sourced information from users and data from councils and other organisations.
It only logs free-to-use toilets which the public can use without having to ask – so “customers only” loos are excluded.
Analysis of the figures by QS Supplies, a bathroom supplier, shows there are 13 publicly available toilets in Wigan – five of which are accessible to those with disabilities.
As these figures are largely based on submissions from the public, they may not reflect the full range of facilities available in the area.
Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Crohn's and Colitis UK, said: "We know that nine in 10 people with the conditions plan their journeys based on access to toilets."
"This is increasingly challenging and isolating as the number of public toilets declines. The fear of being caught short and unable to access a public toilet when required means many people are confined to their homes, she added."
More than 500,000 across the UK suffer from these conditions.
"More awareness and understanding will improve the lives of people living with Crohn’s and Colitis to make sure they aren’t hidden at home – they’re out and about, living life to the fullest,” she added.
Across the North West, 296 of 1,074 (27.6 per cent) public toilets are accessible.
And across England, the South East has the highest proportion of accessible toilets, with 45.6%, while the West Midlands has the lowest, with just 22.9 per cent.
In February, the Government announced funding for more than 100 new “Changing Places” toilets – which are designed to be used by people with a range of disabilities – to be built across England.
Responding to the news, Shelley Symonds, a campaigner for the Changing Places charity: “The freedom of being able to visit different places and have days out that we can thoroughly enjoy, without the worry of toilet uncertainty or having to cut our trips shorts, is a wonderful feeling.