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Alton Towers Resort opens doors on optimum accessibility

Alton Towers Resort has become the most accessible of the UK’s top theme parks with the opening of two new assisted, accessible toilet facilities.

The Staffordshire venue, which attracts on average 2million 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. 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.

“At least one in every 260 people needs additional space and/or equipment to go to the toilet when away from home,” explained campaigner Tony Clough MBE, who worked closely with Alton Towers Resort’s operator Merlin on the project. “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.”

Added Justine Locker, 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 compliment 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.”

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 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 ‘desirable’, 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.

Clos-o-Mat is unique in its ability to deliver- in-house- design advice, supply, installation, commissioning, project management and maintenance across the ambit of accessible toileting equipment, including the Clos-o-Mat wash and dry (automatic) toilet. To help venues ‘get it right’, Clos-o-Mat has a raft of downloadable information on its website, www.clos-o-mat.com, including white papers, CAD blocks, room renders and videos.

For more information visit www.clos-o-mat.com.

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About Sarah OBeirne

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