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Byline: Bob Haywood

A MIDLAND town's new pounds 7 million bus station was hailed as just the ticket for passengers.

But travellers claim the boast has been flushed down the pan - by tiny toilets. Now there are fears larger passengers may become wedged in the pint-sized cubicles.

Britain's top loo inspector agreed the loos were "very, very tight" - although public transport body Centro said the toilets fully complied with regulations. Stourbridge Interchange, which took 18 months to build, is on the site of the town's old bus station.

The glass and steel structure includes eight bus stands with doors which open automatically when the bus arrives, a convenience shop, electronic information boards and a public address system.

The interchange links the bus services with the nearby Stourbridge Town railway station and provides public transport links across the whole of the Black Country, Birmingham and beyond.

But while the new building has set high standards, passengers are less impressed with the toilets, which cost 20p to use.

Paula Davies, of Norton, Stourbridge, said: "The toilets are not very big. It's a good job I am small.

"If a large person went in, they would get stuck. They could have made the toilets bigger instead of having all the open space next to each bus stand."

The Birmingham Mail ran the tape measure over the loos and found the cubicles were the same width in the gents and the ladies - 850mm (33 inches).

There are two cubicles in the female section and one in the men's, which also has a single trough urinal.

Raymond Martin, director of The British Toilet Association and senior inspector for the prestigious Loo of the Year Awards, said: "The width of 850mm sounds very, very tight. A cubicle width of 1,000mm [39 inches] and 1,200mm [47inches] is standard.

"What we prefer to call 'away from home toilets' are crucial to people's daily lives and also the economy of an area. They need to be plentiful, clean - and well laid-out."

Centro has dismissed the criticisms.

A spokesman said: "We are surprised the cubicles have been branded as too narrow given that the British Standard lays down a width of 800mm.

"There are also further toilets in the large disabled cubicle and in the babychanging facility, also of a generous size being 1,400mm wide at its narrowest point.

"You can use this whether you have a baby or not."


Tight squeeze: The toilets at Stourbridge's new bus station have not impressed larger passengers.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 11, 2012
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