Toilet map shows fewer than a dozen accessible toilets in North Tyneside
A map of publicly available accessible toilets shows fewer than a dozen in North Tyneside, as campaigners call for better facilities for those living with disabilities.
The Great British Public Toilet Map tracks publicly available toilets usings 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 60 publicly available toilets in North Tyneside – 11 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 9 in ten 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 East, 92 of 366 (25.1%) 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%.
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.
“Not being able to access a suitable toilet dictates our everyday life and prevents us from even accessing our most local community,” she added.
In 2019, research by the Royal Society for Public Health found that one in five of us do not go out as much as we would like due to a lack of available toilets.