Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The too accessible loo.

A while ago I had an 'interesting' accessibility experience. So I decided I'd send them a letter: (the stations name has been removed because I only sent the email today - I'll give them time to respond before naming them. I was hoping to send it to the station manager but can't find his email address, so it's had to go to the general 'customer enquiries' - although I'm posting a hard copy to the manager later.)

Dear Sir,
RE: Accessibility at [RAILWAY STATION]

It is with great pleasure that I inform you, as a wheelchair user who often uses [RAILWAY STATION]  that I have found the staff helpful, polite, and generally rather awesome.
However, there is something which really needs to be addressed. The accessible toilet (the one near customer information desk on platform x) is, ironically, rather too accessible.

Did you realise that when it is dark and the toilet user turns the light on, the translucent glass window between the person on the loo and platform x becomes….shall we say…significantly less opaque? The individual can then be clearly seen by all on the platform. Even a simple piece of hardboard would solve the issue as a temporary measure.

Taking this public display one step further, did you realise that there is no effective privacy lock on this accessible toilet?

Some of your staff are aware of this because when I asked about it they said they had been told that “It is designed that way, so if someone needs assistance and pulls the emergency chord, someone can get in to help.”

True, there needs to be a privacy lock over-ride mechanism, but it should be as outlined below – not through use of a RADAR key (widely available and the equivalent of a door handle).

So while the staff at [RAILWAY STATION] are to be highly commended, please either reduce visibility through the window in the accessible toilet and replace the faulty lock, or in the interests of equality, please remove all privacy locks from the standard toilet cubicles and add suitable viewing windows.

I look forward to being able to pee in private on my next visit.

Yours sincerely,

Hannah Ensor


  1. Oh my ! That's got to be up there with the best of the worst!!

  2. this is most illuminating! Wonder who designed this Loo


  3. Just brilliant as a response. Sadly, there are several local loos near me with the exact same issue regarding no real lock, and I have been the stickman sat on the loo as someone else opens the door with their radar key. Not found one with a viewing window yet though - really hoping they don't catch on!!!

  4. I guess no one wants the risk of a snapper outside the crapper ! ! ! !

  5. Your letter made me smile! I hope you get a helpful response and some action taken.


  6. This is now all fixed :D IT was sorted some time ago but I forgot to comment :)


Feel free to comment, but please note that any offensive or inappropriate comments - including advertising - will be moderated.