Bath & North East Somerset Council is moving into the final stages of the plans to improve public toilets across the district.
Refurbishment works have started today (19 January) at the Royal Victoria Park play area, with Newbridge Park & Ride and Henrietta Park to follow in the next few weeks.
New toilets have already been completed at: Seven Dials, Monmouth Street; Odd Down Park & Ride; Sandpits play area at Monksdale Road; Alice Park; Keynsham Memorial Park; Charlotte Street car park; Parade Gardens; Sydney Gardens; Alexandra Park and at The Shallows in Saltford.
The Council’s contract with Healthmatic Ltd will provide investment in cleaning and management services for 15 years, and means that 15 public toilets in parks, play areas, green spaces and key transport hubs will remain open and be improved, and a brand new facility as part of the Newbridge Park and Ride expansion project.
Cllr David Dixon (Lib Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Our commitment to improving the quality of public toilets across Bath and North East Somerset is delivering increased benefits to our public spaces.
More and more people keep telling me how happy they are to have modern clean toilets which are much better to use.”
The new public toilets will have many benefits for local people, including:
• Cubicles will be unisex, disability compliant and will have baby-change facilities
• The cubicles offer a high standard of cleanliness and safety and are able to handle large numbers of people using them
• They are large enough for a parent with a couple of small children and a pushchair to use together
• High-tech controls means access can be 24 hours / 7 days a week all year and timers can be adjusted remotely to suit local need as well
• Access is by coin entry to a totally private cubicle with its own hand-washing and drying facilities
• The inside is resistant to vandalism and misuse with an easy-clean tiled interior and hard-wearing fittings
• Problems are detected remotely enabling rapid response by Healthmatic’s engineering and maintenance teams.
All of the refurbished facilities will be charged at 20p for use, in order to make the contract sustainable over the next 15 years.
A round-up of the other locations is:
• Riverside Coach Park toilets are being cleaned and managed by Healthmatic on a normal basis, pending progress with redevelopment of that part of the Enterprise Area;
• The current auto-loos at Charlotte Street and Shaftesbury Road are continuing in operation until at least 2020;
• Temporary cleaning, locking and repairs by Healthmatic continues at Gullock Tyning, Midsomer Norton (until mid-2015 when the leisure contract is awarded with public convenience provision included);
• At Ashton Way, Keynsham, the toilets are now closed as the new Council development and car park at Market Walk is fully open;
• We are continuing to work with local businesses in High Street, Weston and Larkhall Square on innovative arrangements to provide a public toilet service together; these should be in place in January and April respectively
• Paulton Parish Council have worked with the Council to take over fully running the public conveniences on a 15 year agreement (with effect from last July, 2014);
• The Council is continuing to work with Batheaston Parish Council over the public toilets building in London Road car park in support of their Vision Plan;
• Former locations at Dominion Road – Twerton and Bradford Road – Combe Down have been sold at auction with completion in December 2014;
• Peasedown St John (Greenlands Road car park) has been scheduled to be demolished to make way for extra parking spaces in the well-used car park.
In Keynsham, there are alternative Council facilities in Memorial Park (open 7 days a week) and at the One Stop Shop and Library at Market Walk (open 6 days per week). The High Street also has a number of popular cafes and shops with customer facilities.
Peasedown – there are late discussions with the Parish Council on alternative options (taking over the block either to run as toilets or to use for their own storage purposes) which the Parish is considering as part of its budget-setting on Tuesday 20th. Demolition works are on hold until the end of this week.