All change at Swansea Rail!

SWANSEA RAILWAY STATION has become the first railway station in Wales, and first major station in the UK, to invest in a ‘state of the art’ toilet for people with a disability.

The installation of the ‘Changing Places’ toilet forms part of a major upgrade programme to create a public transport facility fit for the 21st century, led by the Welsh Assembly, Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail, in consultation with local residents. A survey into The National Station Improvement Programme (NSIP), Putting Passengers First, found that in people’s opinion not only were toilets the top facility most in need of upgrading at stations, but also that they were the most important priority for improvement.

The new toilet – located in the main concourse to further enhance accessibility – has been designed, supplied and installed by Total Hygiene, the UK’s leading provider of disabled toileting solutions, and sponsor of the ‘Changing Places Changing Lives’ campaign for the accessible toilets.

NSIP project manager for Arriva Trains Wales Catherine Casey said,

We were planning from the outset to include a DDA compliant toilet. However after consultation with local access groups a request was made to incorporate a Changing Places facility so the design was changed to accommodate this request. A Changing Places toilet is also ‘good practice’ under the British Standard BS8300:2009 Accessible Building Design, which applies to buildings to which large numbers of the public have access.

Funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) National Stations Improvement Programme, Welsh Assembly Government and DfT small access scheme, the Changing Places toilet is a minimum 12m² and includes a peninsular toilet, hoist, washbasin and height adjustable changing bench, enabling anyone who needs the help of at least one carer to undertake basic personal hygiene in an appropriate environment. Statistics show almost ¼m people in the UK need assistance to toilet and/or change continence pads. There are 10m people in the UK registered disabled and some 1.5m people use a wheelchair; 1 in 10 people suffer from either bladder or bowel incontinence, establishing the need for an accessible toilet that is larger and more appropriate to people’s needs than a conventional ‘disabled’ toilet.

Since the ‘Changing Places’ concept was developed, over 250 of the special toilets have been installed throughout the UK, in locations as diverse as colleges, car parks, and leisure venues.