I have written a few times now on the decline of the Great British Public Toilet. Now let me introduce you to a real contender for a low maintenance replacement.
It’s called the Portland Loo because it was created in the City of Portland in Oregon USA. These public loos are simple and sturdy – indeed it is designed to withstand wind gusts up to 140mph – maybe not a problem in the UK apart from the Scottish Islands.
The design is small and the sink is outside – not inside so people spend less time in there. There are also angled slats so that the police can monitor who is using the toilet without compromising their privacy. The toilets are lightweight, made of stainless steel and come with graffiti-proof coating in order to require minimal ongoing maintenance, which all sounds great, but are local authorities prepared to provide clean decent facilities and will people use them?
Certainly the folks of Smithers in British Columbia,Canada were extremely excited to be installing one and it made CBC news on 6 January. Can you see a public loo installation in Scotland making headline news? No, me neither!
But maybe the next time your local authority closes down a public convenience and sites maintenance and upkeep as the issue, point them in the direction of a Portland Loo
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