Disabled access to Weymouth toilets‘not good enough’

Dorset Echo: Henry and Elizabeth Smith Henry and Elizabeth Smith

AN ELDERLY couple on holiday in Weymouth have criticised the town’s disabled facilities.

Henry and Elizabeth Smith, of Wiltshire, have spoken out after they could not get easy access to the disabled toilets in Cove Street.

Mrs Smith, 84, who relies on a walking frame, said they were ‘shocked’ at the difficulty they faced especially during the Paralympic Sailing events.

The pair had been visiting with their three daughters who hired a mobility scooter for their dad Henry, 82, to get around the town. After finding the toilet block locked the family was told to contact the borough council who then directed them to the Tourist Information Centre to buy a key for £3.

Mrs Smith said: “We were shocked at how difficult it was for us to gain entrance to a disabled toilet.

“I just thought it was awful especially with the Paralympics going on.

“If my husband and I had been on our own we would have been really stuck.

“I want to raise awareness of this so changes can be made for other disabled people who need easy access to facilities in the town.”

She added: “We have visited here before and the shop next to the toilets used to give us a key but this year it had all changed.

“We only needed to use the toilet not be sent around the town to find a key to get into one.”

Their daughter Caroline Rendell, of Oxford, said: “It is disgusting really and the town’s disabled facilities definitely need working on.

“We really like Weymouth but if my mum and dad had been on their own they would have been really stuck.

“I know a lot of the buildings are old but the access in a lot of them is really not great.

“When disabled or older people need the toilet access should be easy and stress-free.”

The family said they would not be put off from visiting the town but hoped the facilities could be improved.

Comments (6)

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12:58pm Wed 12 Sep 12

portlandboy says...

If the council expect you to get to the Pavilion to buy a key, you might as well use the free disabled loo while you're there! To be honest, even if you have the key, the toilet facilities in the Muff are not great. You probably did well to avoid them anyway.
Now, go to Poole and it's a different story. The key is free, the loos are immaculate and spacious, plus the parking is FREE too. So the cost of parking a car and buying the key is probably more than the fuel to go to Poole for a day. Wake up WPBC!!!
If the council expect you to get to the Pavilion to buy a key, you might as well use the free disabled loo while you're there! To be honest, even if you have the key, the toilet facilities in the Muff are not great. You probably did well to avoid them anyway. Now, go to Poole and it's a different story. The key is free, the loos are immaculate and spacious, plus the parking is FREE too. So the cost of parking a car and buying the key is probably more than the fuel to go to Poole for a day. Wake up WPBC!!! portlandboy

1:41pm Wed 12 Sep 12

annotator1 says...

Well said Portland boy!
Poole and Bournemouth cater for disabled at no cost and the loos are always clean and fresh smelling, unlike the Weymouth loos, if you can find one that is open in the evenings.
Well said Portland boy! Poole and Bournemouth cater for disabled at no cost and the loos are always clean and fresh smelling, unlike the Weymouth loos, if you can find one that is open in the evenings. annotator1

6:21pm Wed 12 Sep 12

Crabber says...

You can buy the Keys on the internet, I have two one is on my keyring and I keep the other in my car. It ain't just the bog's in muff that are bad for us disabled half the pavements have a bad camber and most of the pubs & clubs + restaurants have bl**dy great steps to get into them
Weymuff Disabled Friendly ? My |R*E
You can buy the Keys on the internet, I have two one is on my keyring and I keep the other in my car. It ain't just the bog's in muff that are bad for us disabled half the pavements have a bad camber and most of the pubs & clubs + restaurants have bl**dy great steps to get into them Weymuff Disabled Friendly ? My |R*E Crabber

9:31pm Wed 12 Sep 12

happilyretired says...

My mother-in-law has had a disabled toilet key for a number of years, obtained in her home town in Essex and used in disabled toilets wherever she goes, including on her visits to us in Weymouth. I must admit we have to plan our trips around Weymouth so she is not caught out. I agree that the so called drop kerbs (or lack of) and obstacles such as badly placed A-boards and 'cafe society' tables and chairs make moving around with a wheel chair a challenge.
My mother-in-law has had a disabled toilet key for a number of years, obtained in her home town in Essex and used in disabled toilets wherever she goes, including on her visits to us in Weymouth. I must admit we have to plan our trips around Weymouth so she is not caught out. I agree that the so called drop kerbs (or lack of) and obstacles such as badly placed A-boards and 'cafe society' tables and chairs make moving around with a wheel chair a challenge. happilyretired

10:49am Thu 13 Sep 12

portlandboy says...

I wonder why these cafe tables and chairs that are creeping further out into the streets are being encouraged, or not discouraged, by the council. It wasn't so long ago that WPBC were driving around the borough 'stealing' A-boards because they were a street hazard, then prosecuting the owners who put them there! Call e a cynic, but I think money may have something to do with it.
I wonder why these cafe tables and chairs that are creeping further out into the streets are being encouraged, or not discouraged, by the council. It wasn't so long ago that WPBC were driving around the borough 'stealing' A-boards because they were a street hazard, then prosecuting the owners who put them there! Call e a cynic, but I think money may have something to do with it. portlandboy

1:41pm Fri 14 Sep 12

biggestoaf says...

You're a cynic.
There's a licensing scheme to allow businesses to put tables and chairs outside their premises (yes they have to pay for the privilege) but also allows the council to control the area in which they can be put so that, hopefully, they don't impede pedestrians, wheelchair users or anyone else.
Money isn't the prime motivator. It's about trying to achieve a balance between business and pavement users.
You're a cynic. There's a licensing scheme to allow businesses to put tables and chairs outside their premises (yes they have to pay for the privilege) but also allows the council to control the area in which they can be put so that, hopefully, they don't impede pedestrians, wheelchair users or anyone else. Money isn't the prime motivator. It's about trying to achieve a balance between business and pavement users. biggestoaf

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