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Boris Answers the Call

By March 25, 2009News

It’s not a statistic that many people have considered — that is, until they find themselves caught short in the Capital — but London’s public toilet provisions have falled by more than 40% in the last year. Never fear, though: Boris and his team think they’ve found a solution. The Mayor’s office will be asking local businesses to throw open their doors for those in dire need of somewhere to answer the call of nature without necessarily expecting them to purchase anything in the meantime.

An article in the Guardian is trying to bring the problem to the public’s attention, a fact that Boris’s gang say is part of the problem; while a lot of businesses are already relatively open to the man on the street using their facilities, not many people know where to find the ‘safe’ locations. BoJo wants that to change, and is encouraging businesses to make it clear that their toilets are available on a no purchase necessary basis.

On the surface, it sounds like a great idea: the public get better toilet provision, and the tax bill doesn’t have to cover it. Still, the rapidly declining number of official public toilets seems to be causing some people a bit of worry, including Mike Bone of the (we kid you not) British Toilet Association, who noted that this scheme shouldn’t let councils off the hook for providing their own services, as — among other things — toilets in places of business won’t be available twenty-four hours a day, possibly leaving some people up an aptly-named creek without a paddle.

What do you think? Is this a good plan, or can it only be a temporary measure until a more permanent council-based system can be put into place?


  • catherine says:

    Never let it be said that Boris Johnson lacks a practical side. This is a very sensible idea, and I hope that it works. Anything that saves money is to be applauded and the businesses letting the public use their loos might sell more goods anyway. Customers might spot things they wish to buy after they have availed themselves of the facilities.

  • angel says:

    A good suggestion from Mark hillary on twitter. Shops taking part in the scheme could signal this to the public by badges on their windows. My guess is that all businesses that did take part would find an increase in sales, because customers would feel so grateful.

  • Scout says:

    Boris thinks of everything. Good man! This is a great idea and businesses might find their sales increasing anyway just from people passing through.

  • raincoaster says:

    So…is Boris going to be opening City Hall for this purpose?

    raincoaster’s last blog post..WordPress…to your mother!

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