As lockdown restrictions ease and people socialise outdoors with takeaway coffess and beers, the question of access to toilets is proving a huge problem, with people taking to social media to complain about revellers urinating in public.
Now there’s a solution in the form of the website LockdownLoo.com, created by two UK-based brothers – one who works in tech and the other a civil servant – operating under the alias Sir Caughtshort, which aims to log all the open conveniences across the UK and Northern Ireland.
The site currently lists more than 1,100 public toilets and loos in stations, cafes and puvs that are open, with the help of councils and submissions from the public via Twitter.
The map can be consulted on your web browser from your phone, or be opened on My Maps if you have an Android device. It can also be used via the Google maps app on iPhones.
The website, which launched nationally on June 20, has been hailed as a ‘godsend’.
Website LockdownLoo.com, created by two UK-based brothers operating under the alias Sir Caughtshort, aims to log all the public bogs in one given area
The siblings behind Lockdown Loos, who wish to remain anonymous, said the idea started as a joke, but turned into a serious endeavour after it was met with positive feedback among their friends.
People have been using the maps in London to plan their runs, and they’ve heard it’s been a huge help to bus drivers too.
The website is easy to use, and gives details not only about toilet locations, but their condition and opening times as well.
The website gives information on location, opening time and cleanliness of public toilet around the country. Pictured: public loos available in the Westminster City Council and around central London
People can submit public toilets they know are open in one given area and provide details on whether they offer baby changing stations or disabled cubicles
It also specifies which public bathrooms have baby changing stations, are short on loo roll or soap, and the ones that should only be use in case of an absolute necessity.
Some submission also specify the queuing time if the loo in question is particularly in demand.
To compile the useful data, Sir Caughtshort have been using the information available on some councils’ websites and have called on people to submit new locations spotted around their towns.
People shared their appreciation of the website on Twitter, as more and more locations are added nation-wide daily
They also have been working directly with councils, such as the Westminter City Council, which provided them with a detailed log of all their open public toilets.
The council has brought more staff in to look after the cleanliness of their toilets and to discourage anti-social behaviours. They also temporarily stopped charging people for using the public bathrooms.
When the app launched on June 20, it had registered 1,100 public loos around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Lockdown Loo is constantly being updated with the locations submitted by its users, and Sir Caughtshort hope to log as much 3,000 before 4 July.
People desperate to find public loos while out and about in lockdown Britain have praised the Lockdown Loo creators for crowd-sourcing the information.
‘Thank you so much! My new favourite website! This lockdown has proved very restrictive due to lack of toilet facilities. I will update as I find loos,’ one said
‘Liberation,’ one rejoiced, while another added: ‘Awesome!!! Spread the word please.’
It comes after campaigners claimed that women are ‘adversely and disproportionately affects women and girls’ because they are forced to ‘plan their lives and freedom around toilets’ in a way that men are not.
As lockdown measures lift, more than one in six (14 per cent) of menstruating women in the UK worry about where they can go to the toilet when going out while on their periods because many facilities are closed, according to data from WaterAid. This figure rises to one in five (21 per cent) in the West Midlands and one in four (24 per cent) in London.
Separate research from Plan International UK reveals more than a quarter of young women have been unable to go outside due to fears associated with their period, including access to a toilet.
Facilities were closed when strict social distancing rules were introduced in March because of fears the virus would be spread by people touching handrails, gates, door handles and light switches.
Some councils and parks have reopened their toilets, but an appeal by the Government to open more has largely been ignored.
Those that are open have seen long queues as they faced increased usage due to alternative facilities in restaurants and bars remaining closed.