The Cities Where Public Toilets Are Set To Go Extinct

The number of public toilets in the UK has dropped from 6,087 in 2000, to just 3,990 over the last 10 years.

Disabled people are frequently being left behind in Britain. From leaving their homes for ‘warm spaces’ this winter to hate crimes towards disabled people still being rampant across the country and even the government pushing unfair reforms against disabled people, it’s a bleak landscape.

Now, new data from Victoria Plumbing indicates that UK public toilets are expected to be ‘extinct’ by 2105 and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne expected to be loo-less as early as 2028.

While this may seem on the surface something that may just leave you uncomfortable in a pinch, for many disabled and unhoused people, this is just another example of how some of the most vulnerable people in our society are being left behind.

The importance of access to public toilets

Access to toilets is actually a human right, according to the UK Government – but while this may be true on paper, in reality, if public toilets are becoming more scarce, people are left isolated regardless of what the law is.

There are a multitude of reasons why people may need urgent access to public toilets including those with chronic conditions such as Crohn’s disease and colitis as well as people with conditions that further put pressure on the bladder and bowels such as endometriosis and IBS.

Speaking to The Big Issue, one person stated that their fear of urinating themselves in public has left them isolated at home, or, when they do go out, they dehydrate themselves the night before. They said, “I have no life. I don’t want to upset anybody, but I feel like I’m the living dead. What is my purpose in life? I can’t go out.”

They’re not alone. According to research from bladder care company, Jude, 67% of women and half of men have deliberately dehydrated themselves as a result of no toilet access. And 41% of people admit that this has led to health issues such as urinary tract infections, bladder and kidney problems.

It appears that as well as leaving disabled people behind, the public toilet crisis is leaving more people unwell and lonely at a time when the World Health Organisation has declared loneliness a ‘global public health concern’.

“The time to act is now”

Brenna Ryan from Victoria Plumbing said that the UK Government needs to take a stand now saying, “When people are left with no options, they resort to methods that are detrimental to our environment, our health, and our shared spaces.”

She added that beyond the public health implication, affects the mobility of disabled and vulnerable people which, “diminishes the quality of life and pushes them towards isolation”.

The implications around severe health and hygiene risks are too serious to ignore. With this in mind, the bathroom specialists are petitioning the UK Government to put an end to the toilet catastrophe that could potentially await us. People can show their support for this issue here.

Where public toilets are set to go extinct first

  1. Newcastle
  2. Birmingham
  3. Plymouth
  4. Manchester
  5. Glasgow
  6. Edinburgh
  7. Preston
  8. Salford
  9. Liverpool
  10. Lancaster