There are still many fully attended toilets around the UK for the simple reason that they provide the best service to the public. Users feel safe, they are generally clean and, for the most part, will be well maintained.
However, attended toilets are expensive to run and staff, so we have learned to employ several different approaches to help keep the cost of their operation contained.
ONE ATTENDANTIn the 21st Century, users have become accustomed to one attendant managing both the Ladies and Gents. There is no need to employ separate sexes to look after each area. In practice, a shift system which leads to employees overlapping for periods at the beginning and end of shifts is a good way to run the toilet, as they can deal with issues which a lone worker may not be able to manage.
OFF PEAKMost toilets have peak and off peak periods. In the off peak periods, it is worth considering closing the main toilet area and instead run two or three direct access cubicles.
CHARGE FOR USEMost people when asked are happy to pay a small charge to use a clean and safe toilet, especially if it is attended. Typical charges range from 20p to 50p. At the top end would be Harrods which charges £1, and at the lower end are the many free options. A really busy toilet with 200,000 users will cost in the region of £60,000 - £80,000 to operate, including all staff, utilities and consumables.
MAINTENANCEA poorly maintained attended toilet is almost the worst of all worlds. The attendants tend to be demotivated, the public resent the poor facilities and the Council has to keep funding the costs. If you are considering an attended toilet, it must be worth giving it a refurbishment before embarking on this expensive but excellent provision.
Healthmatic runs the UK’s first commercial ‘pay as you go’ public toilet. It is on London’s South Bank beside the London Eye and is known as the ‘Jubiloo’.
Please visit www.facebook.com/jubiloo to have a look.