Had to use Greggs disabled toilet in their Hounslow branch.
- The door was impossible to open due to its weight and the fact it was in an alcove, so very little space for manoeuvring.
- There was no red emergency pull cord, I mean this toilet looked as though it had never had one. There was no ceiling fixture that I could see to suggest a red emergency cord had ever been fitted!!
I have gone through the Building Regulations 2010 – The online 2015 Edition: Volume 2 – Buildings other than dwellings
Section 5: Sanitary accommodation in buildings other than dwellings
d. WC compartment doors, and doors to wheelchair-accessible unisex toilets, changing rooms or shower rooms are fitted with light action privacy bolts so that they can be operated by people with limited dexterity and, if required to self-close, can be opened using a force at the leading edge of not more than 30N from 0 degrees (the door in the closed position) to 30 to 60 degrees of the opening cycle.
h. any emergency assistance alarm system has:
i. visual and audible indicators to confirm that an emergency call has been received;
ii. a reset control reachable from a wheelchair and the WC, or from the wheelchair and the shower/changing seat;
iii. a signal that is distinguishable visually and audibly from the fire alarm.
So, it would seem that Greggs are actually in breach of this regulation, would you agree?
Again, this just goes to show how companies/retailers are not having the “Anticipatory” approach to accessibility needs the Equality 2010 says they should!! We may have come a long way so far but so much still needs to change and become commonplace, not an afterthought!! So many retailers still fail at their basic obligations!!
Access for disabled people is not something to be granted, gifted, bestowed or vouchsafed. Access is a right emanating from the law, equity and justice.
My first port of call was as usual, Twitter, I am yet to get a reply from Greggs but if and when I do, I will update this post.