Whether you’re travelling for a day out at the beach, to visit friends and family or for a spot of shopping in the city, travelling on the motorway opens up a whole world beyond our locality. Motorways are the gateway to get out there and live life and we believe that they should be accessible to all.
However, over a 1/4 of a million disabled people rely on Changing Places toilets across the UK to provide the necessary facilities to live a full life and access the public spaces that many of us take for granted. Standard accessible toilets do not meet the requirements of many people with a disability. To use disabled toilets in safety and comfort, many people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people need to be able to access a Changing Places toilet.
The campaign to make Changing Places toilets accessible to those who need them began in 2006 as campaigners tirelessly exposed the everyday difficulties disabled people and their carers faced when they couldn’t access a Changing Places toilet. Disabled people were being changed on unhygienic toilet floors, carers struggled to safely move disabled users in standard disabled toilets and users were suffering from infections caused by medical equipment being used in cramped and unhygienic spaces.
Government policy promotes accessibility for all and outlined these ideas in the Equality Act 2010. Despite the inclusive policies there are still significant barriers faced by disabled people every day when navigating public spaces and the ongoing Changing Places campaign hopes to address this.
Changing Places differ from standard accessible toilets as they include more space and additional equipment including a height adjustable changing bench and a toilet hoist. These additions have a huge impact on the lives of disabled people, their carers, friends and family.
At Westmorland we’re proud to have two Changing Places toilets for those travelling on the motorway. We have a Changing Places facility at Cairn Lodge Services in Scotland, A74(M) between Junctions 11 and 12, and at Gloucester Services Southbound, M5 between junctions 11a and 12. The facilities are accessed by Radar key to help keep them free and clean for disabled people. If you have any problems accessing the facilities please speak to a member of our team.
We’re delighted to provide these facilities and do our bit to help make the motorway accessible to all.