Posts tagged ‘Equality’

… Oxford Street

There are new public toilets planned for Oxford Street!


Or is it?

Public toilet blocks don’t get built that often nowadays, but this is different. They’re not really ‘new’ but a replacement, because the last set of public toilets on London’s busiest shopping street were filled in with concrete.

You see there was a set of public toilets underneath Oxford Circus. Access was via a set of steps on a pedestrian traffic island in the middle of the crossing with Regent Street (with men’s and women’s on the opposite sides of the junction).

There was never anyone in them (well, not in the Ladies…). I always thought that this was because of their awful location; maybe no one noticed that they were there?!

Inside they were alright, much like most of Westminster Council’s toilets, as they’d been refurbished in 2005 for £300 000. When I visited the toilets in 2006 and took photos, as-you-do, there was also a plant. I liked that.
Read more…


April 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm 1 comment

Idea #2: Unisex Toilets

Could unisex toilets be the way forward?

The plan above shows accessible toilets, child toilets and a range of male & female loos.  Some of these could be unisex, others could be reserved for women only or men only. (It also shows a sink in the middle and hand driers to the right. I think the spiky things are plants :) )

The main distinctions are the unisex hand-washing area and the lack of urinals.

The inspiration for this design is the problems that men and women have when caring for people of the opposite sex. This refers to all types of care, including mums and dads looking after their children.  At what age do you start letting them go into the loos alone?

Public toilets are often called ‘The last gendered space’.  Do we need this division of the sexes on top of the privacy of the cubicle?

Are there other advantages to sharing facilities, or would you feel more uncomfortable knowing that someone of the opposite sex was there too?

Would you miss single sex facilities?

Could it work in some cases, but not in others?

Tell me what you think via the comments box at the end, and vote for this idea below!

October 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm Leave a comment

… the Queue for the Ladies

You’ll have to excuse any bluntness today.  Like a lot of my coughing colleagues and commuters I’m coming down with something, made worse by aching legs after some crawling at Budapest Zoo, and blocked ears from the flight back (woe is me!)

It started with a long queue for the ladies at Gatwick Airport.

Airport toilets are generally quite good. They’re large enough to cope with luggage, and this was the second set that I’ve seen recently that have a shelf at the sink for personal belongings (I long for more shelves, I really do, but that’s for another day).

So why, on a not particularly busy Thursday morning at Gatwick was there a 5 minute queue for the Ladies? Or why, more significantly, was there no queue for the Gents?

I started to quiz my somewhat reluctant boyfriend on how many ‘places to pee’ there are in the men’s.

The first restaurant that we tested this in had 1 ladies’ toilet; the men’s had a toilet and a urinal.

“You see! That’s completely unfair.  The men have twice as many places to pee as the women do!”

Keep reading…

October 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm 1 comment

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