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Driving the way forward in making venues accessible

  • Angela May

Motorway services are setting an example to other industry sectors on inclusivity.

moto southwaiteThe companies behind them are applying logic to a moral issue- the need to make their sites useable by anyone.

As an initial strategy, they are endeavouring to ensure that the motorway network has a reasonable coverage of Changing Places assisted accessible toilets, irrespective of which operator is providing the facility. It means that no-one who needs help to toilet has to drive- or be driven- an inordinate distance when travelling on the motorway to find a suitable toilet stop.

Campaigners for Changing Places frequently list town centres, supermarkets, shopping centres, eateries as other venues that they would love to address the issue of Changing Places provision.

A couple of the Big Four supermarket chains are beginning to take steps, but between them have less than 50 nationwide. JD Wetherspoon is the only major pub brand to commit.

If the motorway service operators can put their own commercial interests to the side to address the greater good, can other commercial entities not follow suit?

Actually, if the group approach is taken from a different angle, it could be a means of helping regenerate our ailing High Streets….

Looking at the bigger picture, where there is a Changing Places, people who need it will go. So maybe there should be more of this holistic approach applied, perhaps operators in one locality banding together to provide one, so they all benefit. Thus, the town centre that provides one will draw people, benefitting every shop, restaurant etc in the immediate area.

It’s a new take on added value.

Closomat Limited, Building 1, Brooklands Place, Brooklands Road, Sale Cheshire, M33 3SD