The APC was first introduced to the UK by JC Decaux in the mid eighties. Since then it has enjoyed a mixed reputation, with some operators swearing by them and others hating them.
At its most basic level, an APC is a direct access toilet with an integrated handwash system, usually with a sliding door and it will automatically wash the bowl and floor after each user. Typically the door will open after 15 minutes of use in order to prevent people sleeping within. An advanced APC will prevent the door shutting if more than one adult enters at a time and will automatically open the door if it detects vandalism in its interior.
Our experience has been that an APC in the right location, with sufficient Council explanation, will provide high quality, clean and safe toilets for the public. Situated in the wrong place, an APC may attract negative press and could become a burden rather than boon for the provider.
The right locations for APCs are:
In all these places, the APC will have high utility value to the user and its robust design will ensure that the facility is open and available 24 hours a day. Other types of toilet can be vulnerable to vandalism and anti-social behaviour, but APCs will tend to have the systems to cope with the array of human activities thrown at them and will be available to the public when most needed. We highly recommend APCs as part of a toilet solution, but rarely as the ONLY solution.
APCs can be fitted into existing buildings or into new structures, with one to three cubicles per location as the most popular. Most APCs we have installed have been unisex.