A POOLE woman says that disabled people are suffering after Borough of Poole closed the public toilets in Jubilee Road.
Daphne Long says that Ashley Road in Parkstone is not wheelchair user-friendly after the toilets in Jubilee Road closed earlier this year and were replaced with a community shared toilet scheme.
She says that friends who tried to test out the facilities in some of the shops ‘failed at the first hurdle’, because there was no wheelchair access, with one exception at Waitrose, which is not open 24 hours a day.
Daphne, a former Poole councillor, said: “I left my chair outside the Jubilee Road toilets one day while I used them and when I came out, a man from the council said: ‘It’s lucky you left that outside because if you hadn’t, I would’ve locked you in forever’.”
She added: “I asked him where we were supposed to go in future and he said to use the shops and cafes as part of the community scheme.”
Daphne said neither she nor any of her disabled friends had been consulted on how the closure might affect them. She said: “I’ve been in touch with environmental consumer protection services and an environmental officer said that there are toilets in the area which use the Radar key facility, but I would need to drive to Sandbanks to use them.
“I am appalled that the only toilet we can use is at Waitrose.
“The council is paying for the shops to open their toilets to the public and yet we can’t use them.”
Cllr Xena Dion, cabinet member for a prosperous and sustainable Poole at Borough of Poole, said: “The decision to close the public conveniences at Jubilee Road was taken following consultation with the local business organisations and local ward councillors.
“Any decision like this is evaluated on the impact it has on various groups of people and we believe the facilities offered by Waitrose, Rosina’s Café and the Victoria Cross, which the council now helps fund, are an improvement on the facilities previously provided by the council.”