Specialist changing facility to boost accessibility in Banbury town centre

People living with disabilities can make use of a new specialist toilet facility when visiting the public convenience at Horsefair in Banbury.

By Matt Elofson
Friday, 25th March 2022, 9:50 am

Cherwell District Council operates the town centre public convenience and has invested £130,796 in a complete refit.

There are now four unisex toilets as well as a Changing Places toilet. Changing Places toilets are larger facilities designed to help people with disabilities. They have an adjustable bench with a motorised hoist along with a number of other features that over a quarter of a million people in the UK require.

Dewi Roberts from Accessible Banbury said: “Toilets with a Changing Place make such a difference to families with a wide variety of needs. They give us the freedom to enjoy days out without worrying about being forced to change our loved ones on a dirty bathroom floor or even having to go home early.

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“We are proud to have been involved with the amazing Changing Place in Castle Quay, but to have another one available on Horsefair will be so much more convenient for anybody in that part of Banbury. It will also attract visitors who may need to pop in to get changed and can then discover all our town has to offer.”

Councillor Dan Sames, lead member for clean and green, said: “Changing Places toilets can make a dramatic difference for those with limited mobility and for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

“The facility promotes the dignity and welfare of people with additional needs, helping them spend longer in Banbury town centre and have a much better time when they are here. The refurbishment is part of making Banbury more inclusive and accessible and is a very worthwhile investment for the town as a whole.”

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Toilets at Banbury's Castle Quay recognised at national awards
People living with disabilities can make use of a new specialist toilet facility when visiting the public convenience at Horsefair in Banbury. (Banbury Guardian file photo)

There are also Changing Places toilets in the Castle Quay shopping centre in Banbury and at Claremont in Bicester.

For a map of public conveniences run by the council available here cherwell.gov.uk/toilets

Changing Places toilets are an accessibility specification which the Changing Places Consortium campaign for toilet providers to adopt.

The consortium says that over a quarter of a million people in the UK need Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about and enjoy the day-to-day activities. To use a toilet in safety and comfort, these people need to be able to access a Changing Places toilet, which has more space and the right equipment, including a height adjustable changing bench, a peninsular toilet and a ceiling hoist.

The newly refurbed toilets at Horsefair in the town centre of Banbury (photo from Cherwell District Council)

The Changing Places Consortium is a group of organisations working to support the rights of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and/or other physical disabilities. Established in 2005, the consortium campaigns for Changing Places to be installed in all big public spaces so people can access their community.

Inside the new refurbed facilities at Horsefair in the town centre of Banbury (photo from Cherwell District Council)
People living with disabilities can make use of a new specialist toilet facility when visiting the public convenience at Horsefair in Banbury. (Banbury Guardian file photo)