Improvement plan for Preston bus station toilets

Preston bus station
Preston bus station
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Special toilets for people with severe disabilities are set to be installed at Preston’s revamped bus station.

Changing Places toilets are to be installed after Lancashire County Council approved funding for three schemes.

Around £50,000 could be spent at Preston bus station, with further cash spent revamping stations in Rawtenstall and Ormskirk.

Millions of pounds are already being spent as part of the Preston bus station improvement work and construction of a Youth Zone.

The latest move follows similar schemes already in place around the county.

County Coun Tony Martin, the cabinet member for adult and community services, approved the funding.

A report said: “It is proposed that the County Council approve funding of approximately £50,000 for the development of a Changing Places facility in these bus stations.

“Ongoing dialogue will take place with the design teams for each of the bus station projects and the costs for each installation will be finalised as plans are developed and the size and precise location of each facility is determined.”

It said consultations with Preston Council, the Preston Mobility Centre and the Changing Places campaign group found all parties in favour of the proposal, and said there was a “significant need for such a facility in the city centre”.

Approval had already been given for Lancashire County Council to provide funding towards the installation of the facilities at Chorley Town Hall, Victoria Park pavilion, Accrington Bus Station, Preston Mobility Centre and Pendle Care and Support.

However, changes have now been agreed for the facility at Preston Mobility Centre, after difficulties were encountered.

It was due to be built on the Mobility Centre car park in Chapel Yard at a cost of £113,000, with the county council to fund and oversee its installation, and then the mobility centre and Preston Council to take responsibility for it.

But the project has been subject to “significant delays” because of legal issues around the site, including land ownership and the presence of the service area for a gas pipe in the proposed location.

The report said, given the delays, the original proposal had been “re-appraised”, with a new budget estimate of £155,000 - £42,000 more than had been approved.

New proposals are for a “fully mobile” unit, which can be used in other locations, including Avenham Park.

The funding for the new facilities, and the alternative plans for Preston Mobility Centre, were approved, subject to being “called-in” by the council’s scrutiny committee.

As part of its 2013/14 budget, Lancashire County Council agreed a capital allocation of £481,000 to fund the installation of Changing Places facilities at locations throughout Lancashire. Changing Places facilities are designed to meet the needs of people with physical disabilities, complex needs and/or learning disabilities.