Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bog Off - Exhibit 29 Chester Station


As bogoff's go, Chester Station's isn't too bad. It's a good size, with more than enough room to manoeuvre a wheelchair alongside the loo. It was clean, apart from the loo paper sheets dropped on top of the sanpro waste disposal , and it didn't smell. There is a full-length mirror and there was plenty of contrast for people with visual problems - a good number of navy-blue grab rails stood out well from the white walls and turquoise door and flooring.

But oh dear, points must be deducted. There was no coat hook, which I always find a major annoyance. Ordinary public loos have hooks but the people that design bogoffs seem to think us crips don't wear coats, or carry handbags. And there was no privacy curtain. I don't think I have ever yet used a disabled toilet that has one, yet they are a very cheap and effective way to spare someone's blushes if the door needs to be opened in an emergency. Chester station's bogoff had one small advantage here in that the disabled toilet is inside the main door for all the public toilets and tucked into a corner, so should help need to be summoned you wouldn't be completely exposed to the gaze of passers by.


Talking of help and emergencies, I noticed immediately that the alarm cord was hanging well over a meter above floor level. Worse, it was wedged behind the loo roll dispenser. Tugging at it carefully failed to dislodge it and I was wary of tugging too hard in case I triggered it. It was impossible to tell if it was just too short or if the cleaners had knotted up the length and wedged it up out of the way of the floor polisher. Either way, I was worried about collapsing on the floor as I would not have been able to signal for assistance.


I was incensed enough that I complained immediately at the customer service desk, explaining that the cord was illegally short and anyone in trouble wouldn't be able to get help. To his credit, the man I spoke to promised to investiage immediately and sort it out. I hope he did.

6.5/10. It would have been 9.5 if the alarm cord had been properly positioned.

Words and pictures by Louise Bolotin 
Thanks Louise!

4 comments:

Mary said...

I did see a loo with a privacy curtain a couple of weeks ago. It was in the RADAR cubicle of the ladies public loo opposite the Swan Fountain in Stratford-upon-Avon. Clean, reasonably well equipped, nothing in the transfer space, and the emergency cord was swinging free just a couple of inches off the ground, with a washer tied to the end to keep it hanging.

Only two downsides: the lock wasn't great (you couldn't tell that it had *locked* unless you actually tried the door, which I hate doing because people outside start to assume you're trapped) and the rails weren't a contrasting colour.

I was very impressed, although there are better reasons to go to Stratford than to see a loo with a privacy curtain.

Steve Sparshott said...

Recently I've been impressed by a café in Old St, London called Look Mum No hands, the Courtauld Institute, and the new Busaba restaurant (also in Old St) which was so new thee accessible loo smelled like B & Q and the pull cord handle was still wrapped in clear plastic.

kingmagic said...

Lil sis...mum is getting worried you are hanging around toilets a lot!
I think all public toilets should have doors that open outwards so its easier to get in and drag out the numerous people who are drunk/drugged/asleep/collapsed who frequent them!
Last one I was called to involved an 18 year old female who had drunk 2 large bottles of vodka as well as numerous halves of lager! According to her friend(?) her drink must have been spiked!!!

Steph said...

Cheers! Louise

I'm lucky enough not to need to use disabled toilets but you make some excellent points.

I love your sense of humour re lack of coat hooks LOL

Hi! Bendy

Hope this finds you keeping well in your new abode?