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[19 FEB 99] CITY CENTRE COMPANY COVENTRY NEWS
Precinct Toilets To Be Permanently Closed

The controversial toilets in Coventry’s Upper Precinct are to be permanently closed next week.

The underground toilets have been the centre of criticism as they have deteriorated over the last few years.

Now the City Centre Company, which has responsibility for maintaining toilets, has decided they are beyond repair and will close them from Tuesday.

New temporary toilets will be installed in the Barracks car park in time for the closure while a decision is made on a permanent replacement.

Shoppers will also be encouraged to use the toilets in the West Orchards and Cathedral Lanes shopping centres.

City Centre Company chief executive Liz Millett said the decision had been made after a damning structural report on the toilets, which were built in the 1950s.

She said:

"An asphalt layer which keeps the water out has failed. Coventry City Council has advised us that it is a huge and expensive job to try and repair the layer. It would cause great disruption and there is no guarantee that it would work.

"Even then we would be left with toilets that would need a complete refurbishment and are simply not accessible for a good proportion of the population. We would be throwing good money after bad and not solving the problem."

The City Council has started to look at the feasibility of providing new permanent toilets in the city centre.

Millett added:

"The temporary toilets will be close to the disabled facilities at Shopmobility in the Barracks and we have met with the managers of both shopping centres who are only too happy to let the public use their facilities. They have far better access than the Precinct facilities.

"West Orchards is currently increasing and enlarging its facilities but already a great many people use them because of the ease of access.

"We get more letters about the state of the toilets than anything else and we are only too aware that they create a poor impression. We only see this as a short-term solution while the City Council works out the long-term policy.

"The Precinct toilets have been deteriorating for over a decade and the water problem has made it impossible to maintain them to the standards we demand."

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CWN / News / Newswire / City Centre Company Coventry / 19 Feb 99

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