London's public toilets are inadequate, report finds

23rd of December 2021
London's public toilets are inadequate, report finds

Some Londoners are deliberately dehydrating themselves for fear of being unable to find a public toilet when they need one, according to a report. And 91 per cent of the capital's residents think London's public toilet facilities are inadequate.

A new study by the London Assembly Health Committee claims councils should be legally obliged to provide toilets. Some London residents admit to regularly restricting their fluid intake to avoid needing to access a public washroom when they are out.

"It is simply not acceptable that people are purposefully dehydrating," said London Assembly Health Committee chairperson Caroline Russell. "Some even feel they cannot leave the house at all.

"Our findings should serve as a wake-up call that having no place to go can have serious physical and mental health consequences. Public toilets are not just a convenience - they're a necessity."

Local authorities are not obliged to provide public toilets, which makes them an easy target when budgets are cut. The committee described washrooms as integral to making London accessible, inclusive and economically viable.

Among its 12 recommendations the body asked the government to provide funding for council-run public toilets, adding that businesses should be encouraged to open their facilities to the public and advertise the fact they have done so. And the committee also suggested that Transport for London should provide an easy-to-find toilet map on its mobile app.

One in five people polled claimed a lack of toilet facilities in their neighbourhood restricted the scope of any outings from their homes. And according to Age UK, poor toilet provision is adding to older people's social isolation.



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