Bus station bosses blasted for sexism in loo row

Architect John Puttick, county council leader  Coun Jennifer Mein and Jerry Glover, senior consultant for Preston Youth Zone were joyful   about the   bus station revamp but now  a customer says the station is a very public inconvenience
Architect John Puttick, county council leader Coun Jennifer Mein and Jerry Glover, senior consultant for Preston Youth Zone were joyful about the bus station revamp but now a customer says the station is a very public inconvenience
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Preston Bus Station may be getting a £23m revamp, but its present loo facilities have been branded a disgrace by one city traveller.

Mrs Frances Scott accused station bosses of sexism and discrimination after finding the ladies loos repeatedly shut.

The latest incident happened last Friday, when she arrived with her four year old grandchild :“We were refused help. I had to take her outside to hold her up to have a wee like a dog.”

Meanwhile alternative loos are available for males when their lavatories are closed.

The Penwortham grandma said: “I am totally disgusted. I think it’s a bit sexist. Is it too much to ask to treat the ladies with a bit of respect? I was quite rudely told to go to the market. I have a serious back problem and walking a distance is very painful.”

They are spending all that money on the bus station yet they can’t provide toilets and there’s no toilet in the cafe there. ... It’s just disgusting. People who are on long journeys and stop off in Preston what are they expected to do? They won’t even know where the market is. It’s not going to encourage people to come back to Preston if they can’t get to the toilet.”

She added that it was also a concern that disabled people were being faced with a delay in accessing facilities.

Now, after the Post contacted the council, bus station bosses have apologised and say that with further work due at the station they will look into siting portable loos there. Meanwhile if a child is in need staff loos will be made available and when work is completed there will be an added set of ladies’ toilets.

Linzi King, bus station manager for the county council, said: “There have been times when the ladies’ toilets have closed while major work takes place on the multi-million pound bus station improvements. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause while the work is carried out.

“Due to the design of the building there are two sets of gents’ toilets, so we can keep one of them open during this work.

“We’re doing everything we can to reduce the disruption, while keeping the bus station open and running during this time.

“If women need to use a toilet, such as if they’re with a small child, then we can make the staff toilets available for them. Our bus station team can help if approached, but these toilets may not be suitable for everyone due to some stairs. Other public toilets are available close to the bus station, a short distance away.

She added: “As part of the overall plans for the bus station, we’ll be improving the ladies’ toilets and adding an extra set. We’re also looking into the option of portable toilets while the work takes place.”