“Public Toilets are a basic human right”: Calls to reopen Cardiff’s conveniences

Only 28% of Council-operated toilets in Cardiff are open for public use, making lockdown even harder on the tens of thousands of people who suffer with bowel and bladder conditions.

One of the few things people can do in lockdown is outdoor exercise, but some people face being prevented from even that enjoyment by the lack of facilities.

At the beginning of lockdown all Cardiff Council’s toilets were closed to the public to help prevent transmission of Covid-19.

That caused problems for all manner of groups of people, including parents with young children, older people, and the homeless.

Yet it is a particular problem for the 23,000 people in Wales who suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or similar conditions.

“It’s a horrible feeling, It wasn’t thought through and we weren’t considered” 

Sianny Thomas, 34, who suffers from MS and Chron’s disease feels that the council has not been transparent or informative enough about the opening of public toilets. 

The lack of toilet accessibility means she has to dehydrate before leaving the house because her condition means she sometimes faces urgent calls of nature. Sianny says not being able to use the toilet is “a horrible feeling.

“It wasn’t thought through and we weren’t considered,” she said.

“I can’t drink water before going for a walk – unfortunately, that’s my only choice because they are all shut.”   

Alison Reid, chief executive of the IBS Network said all public toilets should be open for the public as it is a human right. 

The Network said many people who suffer from IBD or IBS are worried about leaving the house, and do not do their daily exercise because of anxiety over needing to go to the loo.  

Liberal Democrat Councillor Rodney Berman is calling for more toilets in Cardiff to be opened and says that “it’s a case of ‘if you are lucky enough’ to have your local park toilet open.”

Cardiff Council has not confirmed when more public toilets will be opened.

Currently open public toilets:

  • Victoria Park
  • Roath Park Pleasure Gardens 
  • Roath Lake