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My wishlist for perfect toilets that city needs
10:00am Friday 6th July 2012 in Letters
I AM delighted to hear that plans are afoot to improve Oxford’s public toilets.
For years, I have considered them to be a disgrace compared to many facilities provided in ‘lesser’ towns and cities, never mind a world cultural centre/heritage site, and dreaded to think what visitors make of them.
As one with a background in facilities management, my wish list would be as follows: No more stainless steel please. Aside from giving toilets the ‘prison’ look, they invariably stink to high heaven.
Avoid push-button toilets, as they block easily, often leak water into the bowl when the inner mechanism fails and are far too squat and impractical for those of more generous proportions.
Include large and sturdy vacant/engaged indicator bolts that don’t break easily.
Include sturdy hooks on backs of doors to put bags on.
Thunderbox cisterns with chain handles and reproduction Victorian sanitary ware throughout of large size to accommodate our larger visitors. They also have a talent for breaking toilet seats with their weight so toilet seat hinges need to be strong as well.
Flattering mirrors, nice lighting, soap dispensers that don’t leak and decent hand dryers.
Nice tiled murals of Oxford to decorate.
Large wooden panelled doors and painted tongue and groove throughout for welcoming feel.
Soft piped music (can be of the kind proven to discourage antisocial behaviour).
Up to 20p a visit would be fine. Most people would gladly pay a modest fee to use world-class facilities.
I was saddened that Oxford Playhouse recently missed a golden opportunity to increase its unique selling points by replacing its ‘bog standard’ toilets with something really special (and despite using an antique toilet as a donation receptacle).
Please don’t miss this opportunity with the public WCs.
LAURA KING, Sandford-on-Thames