North East Liberal Democrat MSP Mike Rumbles is calling on councils in the North East to do more to promote a National Key Scheme that allows priority access to over 9000 accessible toilets to people with a disability or health condition.
The Royal Association of Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR) scheme allows those who need it to purchase a Radar key, a one size fits all, ergonomically designed, blue steel key, and means that there is no wait for those who have one to wait for a member of staff to unlock the door.
Mr Rumbles said: “There are many people who could benefit from this scheme that don’t even know it exists. We see fewer and fewer toilets available to the public, on high streets throughout the region, but we have a duty of care to ensure disabled people in particular, that need access to public toilets, can do so with dignity.
“This scheme is not perfect and there is a lot more that could be done to provide adequate facilities for vulnerable people, but making sure everyone entitled to have a Radar key gets one is the least we can do.
“I’ve spoken to Liberal Democrat colleagues in councils across the North East and asked them to look into this matter.”
Liberal Democrat councillor for West End Dundee, Fraser Macpherson added: “This is an excellent initiative which I am very keen to promote. Providing good access to public toilets at bus and train stations and places with lots of people passing through is essential but we also need to do more to inform people about the facilities that are available and where they can be found.
“I have also been in touch with Transport Scotland recently about the need to provide a Changing Places toilet at Dundee railway station and am pleased that it has instructed ScotRail to progress a feasibility study which will provide a design and cost assessment.”
Aberdeen City councillor for Airyhall, Broomhill & Garthdee, Ian Yuill said: “RADAR toilets are a great idea and I would like to see more of these in Aberdeen and beyond.
“I know people who own and use the keys and that is very reassuring. For some, just leaving the house can be distressing and knowing that accessible toilets are available beforehand lifts a huge burden from their shoulders.”
Notes for editors:
- The National Key Scheme allows priority access to over 9000 accessible toilets to people who need to use accessible toilet facilities due to their disability or health condition. The scheme allows those who need it to purchase a Radar key, a one size fits all, ergonomically designed, blue steel key, and means that there is no wait for those who have one to wait for a member of staff to unlock the door.
- More information on the scheme can be found at: https://www.bluebadgecompany.co.uk/radar-keys
- The list of the accessible toilets can be found at: https://nks.directenquiries.com/nks/search.aspx?tab=RADAR+Accessible+Toilets&type=R&where=Scotland+-+East&id=9&level=1
- See details of Cllr Fraser Macpherson Changing Places campaign at: tiny.cc/changing-places-dundee