Alton Towers improving accessibility

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Alton Towers Resort has become the most accessible of the UK’s top theme parks

The resort attraction, which covers 900 acres, has just opened two new assisted, accessible toilet facilities

The Staffordshire venue, which attracts on average two million visitors a year, has become the first of the most popular theme parks to install both a Changing Places, and Space to Change assisted, accessible toilet.

As a result, thousands of people who would not have been able to enjoy the facilities now can relax and spend time there, safe in the knowledge there are appropriate toilet facilities for them.

The Changing Places toilet is in addition to existing wheelchair-accessible toilets, and delivers more space (12m2) with a ceiling track hoist, height-adjustable adult sized changing bench and height-adjustable washbasin alongside a peninsular WC.

The Space to Change toilet delivers the same equipment in a smaller space (7.5m2) and can be incorporated as part of an existing wheelchair-accessible toilet or as a stand-alone facility.

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Changing Places campaigner Tony Clough MBE worked on the project with Alton Towers’ operator, Merlin:

“At least one in every 260 people needs additional space and/or equipment to go to the toilet when away from home. They need room to accommodate themselves and at least one carer, and/or a hoist, and/or a changing bench. We go to the toilet about eight times a day, so if you’re at a venue for the day, you WILL need to address intimate care needs. By now providing these facilities, Alton Towers Resort has enabled the park to be enjoyed by literally thousands of people who otherwise would have had to cut their visit short, or not gone at all.”

Justine Locker is the Alton Towers Resort Excellence Manager:

“We constantly listen to feedback from our guests, and have consulted with an external accessibility auditor. Due to the size of the Resort – over 900 acres – we decided to invest in both the Changing Places and Space to Change toilets, to complement the adult changing already available in our First Aid centre and CBeebies Land, and ensure that guests could access appropriate facilities no matter where they were on the park.”

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Building Regs say Changing Places are “desirable” in public spaces

Under latest Building Regulations and good practice guidelines, a Changing Places toilet is ‘desirable’ in buildings to which numbers of the public have access.

Since their introduction a decade ago, almost 900 Changing Places have been opened across the UK.

Space To Change toilets plug the gap between conventional (Building Regulations Approved Document M 2013) wheelchair-accessible toilets, and the additional, larger and better equipped Changing Places toilets, being an enlarged wheelchair-accessible toilet that further includes an adult-sized changing bench and a hoist.

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Further Resources

Both facilities have been supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading disabled toilet solutions company, and the largest provider of assisted, accessible ‘away from home’ toilet facilities. You can see more about their accessible toilet products on their showcase page.

What makes a Changing Places fully accessible toilet? Find out here

Most Changing Places installations are achieved through the efforts of local campaigners. You can read top tips on campaigning here

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2 Responses to “Alton Towers improving accessibility”

  1. Gautam Chaudhury April 2, 2017 at 2:07 am #

    Dear sir,
    I am interested to join for India.I am a PWD & a HR professional
    Gautam Chaudhury

  2. Jane Simpson April 6, 2017 at 12:56 pm #

    The space to change should not be incorporated into an existing wheelchair accessible toilet, if it is one required to meet building regulations, only if it is additional!!

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