A constituent has asked me to ask what steps are you taking to encourage boroughs to improve access to toilet facilities in London’s parks? Many toilets close earlier than the parks, which means park users no longer have access to those facilities.
Public toilets are a vital facility, providing Londoners and visitors with the confidence to move around and spend time in public spaces.
The provision, management and improvement of toilet facilities in London’s parks is outside of my powers. It primarily lies with the boroughs and other organisations responsible for managing parks. Unfortunately, many boroughs have had to reduce the provision of toilet facilities in parks due to the significant drop in funding as a result of years of austerity.
Where they continue to provide facilities, they are now often integrated into, and managed as part of other facilities, such as cafes. Whilst this provides an efficient way to both keep and maintain public toilets it often means their opening hours are aligned with those of other park facilities.
More generally, to ensure more public toilets are provided, my draft London Plan contains policy guidance on the provision of new free publicly accessible toilets in large scale commercial developments. This sends out a clear message that there is a need to provide public toilets across London.