Transport White Paper
Provision of Assisted Accessible Toilets /Changing Places in Public Transport Hubs
Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013
Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment
Design Standards for Accessible Railway Station March 2015
Equality Act 2010
UN convention on the rights of peoplewith disabilities
The disabled population of Britain has risen over ½ million to 10.8m, in the past five years alone. One in six of the UK population is now of pensionable age: a figure set to increase by a further 2+million in the next three years, all of whom face issues of decreased mobility and agility.
People go to the toilet on average 8 times a day. Almost 75% of disabled people need a carer, often to help them with personal hygiene. Campaigners maintain that many “accessible” toilets do not even reach the basic standard laid down in Building Regulations.
Tourism for All is campaigning for the industry to go beyond the basic legislative requirement – a Document M package and wheel-in shower –and realise how enhanced facilities, such as including a height-adjustable basin,hoist or a wash and dry/automatic toilet, would enable them to maximise provision for the disabled sector. A wash and dry toilet incorporates integral douching and drying, eliminating the need for the user, or their carer, to manually cleanse, thus improving hygiene, dignity and privacy.
The European Commission’s Disability Strategy aims to enable disabled people to ‘go about their daily lives like everyone else…removing barriers to equal participation in public life and leisure activities…’, thus fulfilling theEU’s commitment to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is further proposing legislation whereby all airports with more than 1million passengers a year should install a Changing Places accessible toilet/hygiene room.
This document covers the legal requirements and ‘good practice’ proceduresfor assisted accessible (disabled) toilet provision in airports, bus terminals,train and Underground stations, and ferry terminals.
In essence, if no other toilets of any kind are provided, there should at least be a unisex accessible toilet, with a larger cubicle, peninsula toilet, drop down support arms and emergency alarm. It is also desirable to include a hygiene room/Changing Places toilet.
Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013
Toilet accommodation needs to be suitable, not only for disabled people,but for all people who use the building. For disabled people, suitable toilet accommodation may take the form of a specially designed cubicle in separate-sex toilet washrooms, or a self-contained unisex toilet.
Some disabled people need to use a toilet more frequently than other users.The time needed to reach a wheelchair-accessible toilet should therefore be kept to a minimum when considering the location of unisex toilet accommodation.
Ambulant disabled people should have the opportunity to use an enlarged WC compartment within any separate-sex toilet washroom.
The compartment should be fitted with support rails, and include a minimum activity space to accommodate people who use crutches, or otherwise have impaired leg movements. Some ambulant disabled people find it difficult to use a standard height WC seat and, for them, it is important that the WC pan can accept a variable height toilet seat riser.
Where a separate-sex toilet/washroom can be accessed by wheelchair users, it should be possible for them to use both a urinal, where appropriate,and a washbasin at a lower height than is provided for other users.For wheelchair users in particular, a self-contained unisex toilet is always the preferred option since, if necessary, a partner or carer of a different sex can enter to give assistance.
Wheelchair-accessible unisex toilets should always be provided in addition to any wheelchair-accessible accommodation in separate-sex toilet washrooms.Wheelchair-accessible unisex toilets should not be used for baby changing.In multi-storey buildings, the consistent location of toilets on each floor can help people with learning difficulties to locate these facilities easily.
In addition, a unisex toilet enables one or two assistants of either sex to assist a disabled person. Some wheelchair users find it difficult to usea standard height WC.
In large building developments, separate facilities for baby changing and an enlarged unisex toilet incorporating an adult changing table are desirable –a hygiene room or ‘Changing Places’ toilet (see over, BS8300: 2018).
BS8300: 2018 Design of an accessible and inclusive built environment
The Standard sets down good practice for accessible building design inpremises to which the public have access, and/or where they spend a periodof time.
It specifically itemises termini, transport hubs, motorway services as benefiting from including such facilities.
Disabled people should be able to find and use suitable toilet accommodation no less easily that non-disabled people. The time taken to reach a toilet is an essential element to be taken into account in its siting.
Where space is limited, the provision of a single accessible unisex peninsular WC for assisted use caters for all needs, and should be sited as close as possible to the entrance and/or waiting area of a building. It should be no less than 2200mm x 2400mm.
A Changing Places toilet aims to meet the needs of people who need a carer to assist, and provides as a minimum:
- The right equipment i.e. a height-adjustable adult sized changing bench,height adjustable wash basin, and hoist
- Enough space (3m x 4m), to enable manoeuvring for the disabled person and up to two carers, for a centrally located (peninsular) toilet with room either side for carers, and a screen or curtain to allow some privacy
- A safe and clean environment, ie wide tear off paper to cover the bench,a large waste bin and a non-slip floor.
BS8300: 2018 further adds a note that replacement of a conventional WC with a wash & dry toilet can enable users to have greater dignity and independence.
Design Standards for Accessible Railway Stations
Code of Practice came into force in March 2015. It pulls together all current guidance on the provision and location of wheelchair accessible toilets, particularly cross-referring to BS8300, and includes:
- That disabled people should be able to find and use suitable toilet accommodation no less easily than non-disabled people, toilets must be designed so they can be used independently
- Where there is only one accessible WC it should be of unisex design suitable for wheelchair users and ambulant disabled people
- As well as being accessible to people in wheelchairs, it must be easy to use by other people including those who cannot bend, with limited strength, impaired balance, impaired vision and those who makeinvoluntary movements
- Where new toilets are being built, toilets for disabled people must be provided
- A Changing Places toilet should be provided in all large railway stations(category A), and should be in addition to, not instead of, the provision ofunisex accessible WCs
However, many facilities do not have the space to accommodate a Changing Places in addition to the conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet.
Campaigners recognise the limitations, and have devised Space to Change as a suitable compromise solution between Building Regulations ApprovedDocument M and the BS8300.
A Space to Change facility fills that gap. It takes advantage of the additional space often already incorporated into the conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet to further include at least a hoist and adult-sized changing bench.
To enable users and their carer(s) to manoeuvre, a Space to Change should be a minimum 7.5m2 (in total, including the 2.2m x 2m of the ‘Document M’type wheelchair-accessible WC).
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 replaces the Disability Discrimination Act. Under it,service providers are required to make reasonable changes – including to the built environment – where a disabled customer or potential customer would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage; previously, such changes were only required if it would have been impossible or unreasonably difficult for the person to access or use the service.
The Equality Act 2010 requires that service providers must think ahead and take steps to address barriers that impede disabled people. You should not wait until a disabled person experiences difficulties using a service1
1Government Equalities Office Equality Act 2010 Disabilities Quick Start Guide
Those changes should comply with the legal and ‘good practice’ guidelines outlined above.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (ratified by the European Union)
“States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to persons with disabilities access, on an equal basis with others, to the physical environment,to transportation….”
The Closomat solution
Closomat is the UK’s largest and longest-established specialist supplier of disabled toileting equipment. It is unique in offering, in-house, full design advice, supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance.
Closomat is Britain’s leading supplier of disabled toileting solutions. It is the only company in its sector which manufactures wash & dry (automatic shower) toilets – the brand-leading Closomat Palma Vita and Lima Lifter –in the UK.
The company also supplies the full ambit of accessible toileting, washroom,hygiene and changing room equipment, including shower equipment, hoists,height-adjustable fixtures and fittings.
Closomat is unique in also having, in-house, expert project management services, complimented by comprehensive technical & specification support including CAD blocks, video, 2D and 3D visualisations, case studies and sector-specific white papers.
Closomat is already expert in the provision of disabled toilets, hygiene rooms and Changing Places toilets in the transport sector, including:
- Gatwick Airport
- Birmingham Airport
- Stoke Bus Station
- Paddington Station
- Swansea Station
- Cornwall Services
- Portsmouth Port
- MOTO Services
- Manchester Airport