Camden residents fury after women told to share toilets with gents

A decision to turn a set of women’s toilets in Camden into a unisex facility has come under fire.

The controversial switch to same-sex toilets has been described as making them “no longer safe for women.”

Ladies wishing to use the public toilets by Camden Town station are being told to share the underground loos with men to the anger of many women who have taken to social media to express their outrage.

A campaign is now underway urging Camden’s Town Hall to provide women their own separate toilets. 

However Camden Council has the decision to switch was because of a budget shortfall and until funds are found to repair the men’s broken facilities, the ‘ladies’ toilets will remain ‘gender-neutral.’

The toilets, located on the end of Parkway, usually have separate designated toilets for ladies and gents.

Once labeled ‘ladies’ toilets, it now reads ‘ladies and gents.’ Meanwhile the ‘gents’ toilets remain closed off. 

Camden’s gender-neutral loos spark protests

The female toilets were ironically originally the result of a historic effort to provide safe spaces for women by George Bernard Shaw in 1890s, leading to separate toilets for women in Camden Town.

Local resident and ex-Tottenham football player Lorraine Ashard, 49 described the gender-neutral facilities as “utter madness.”

Ashard said: “This particular toilet is not safe for women. It’s dimly lit and regularly used by addicts. It’s a matter of time before there’s a serious incident.

Susan Williams, who lives in Hampstead, said: “I didn’t feel safe in there, I would never have gone in if I wasn’t bursting.  The toilets smell, are horrible and intimidating.”

Susannah Jones said: “It’s very bad news for women and their safety.”

Janice North said: “The lavatories are now a rancid and intimidating environment for women. It’s wrong an every dangerous.”

Camden councillor Richard Cotton, 70, who raised the issue was told the men’s toilets had been closed as they ‘could not facilitate social distancing,’ during the pandemic.

The toilets need ‘urgent repairs’ and the council is ‘looking for money in the budget’ to fund the project.

Councillor Cotton said: “It’s very worrying that this is subject to budgeting.

“Women need private cubicles. It’s a matter of safety and privacy. Women shouldn’t have to feel unsafe.

“Those loos were campaigned for and opened by George Bernard Shaw. We were the first borough to have women-only loos, it would be really sad if we were then the first borough to do away with them.”

Camden Council has been approached for comment.

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