York is to get six new fully accessible toilets after the government awarded the council nearly £250,000 in funding.
There are already 11 CTPs in York, including at the railway station, the central library and next to the market, but the funding “will make a significant improvement to York’s offer for disabled people,” according to Cllr Rachel Melly.
Labour’s Cllr Melly proposed a council motion last July which called for “sufficient provision of fully accessible toilets, baby-changing facilities and Changing Places, that are open at appropriate times” in the city centre.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed in his spring statement that more than £23.5 million has been allocated to 191 councils across England to install CPTs.
Helen Jones, who is on the York Disability Rights Forum steering group, said the Changing Places scheme was “amazing”, but said a lot would depend on where the new facilities are put in York.
Ms Jones said she could trust CPTs to be of a high standard, as many ‘standard’ accessible toilets do not actually live up to the name.
She said: “If there are a good spread of toilets you know you can use – and you can trust that information – it really opens up where you can go, because you may not have a toilet at your destination, but if you know that there’s one from the corner, it’s a lot better.”
Ms Jones added: “It’s really good news that there are more being rolled out. When it comes to York in particular, I think part of it depends a lot on where they put them and how they’re going to make that decision process.”
Cllr Melly said: “It’s vitally important that this funding is committed as soon as possible to improve the experience of disabled people and their families living in or visiting York.
“Disabled people, their families and their carers have campaigned for this funding for some time, explaining how the existence of Changing Places Toilets to a great extent dictates where they can, and where they cannot go.”
Labour leader Cllr Pete Kilbane said it was “great news for many”, but added that many disabled people still had to deal with the “discriminatory” ban on blue badge holders parking in the city’s footstreets, a decision which was finalised in November.