I am not in favour of the toilet travel laws.
It’s a genius idea. Real portable toilets. I mean toilets that actually come to you when you need them. There’s an app. There’s always an app. You sign up. You can request a toilet sent to you anywhere. Ok, well, anywhere local-where the app operates and the toilets are. Basically the High street. It’s weirdly popular. A toilet on demand. You hit the button and a toilet arrives within 10 minutes, within two in London. Still quicker than finding a public one. Hint-there are none left.
No more public toilets on that pricey real estate. We’ve all signed up. It is a proper cubicle and all. Obviously. I mean its not an open-air experience. Although there are niche companies apparently-but not in the High street. Its like a very small self driving caravan. You just hit a button and it trundles along on wheels until it finds you. Tracking you all the time via your phone. A port-a-loo that comes to you. Genius.
There are several providers. There are always several providers-ugh competition law.
The trouble is if you use the map service on your phone it often just shows you the nearest one and it might not be your provider. You weigh up how long you can wait and then well you join- at £10 a month. For something that used to be free. Because their loo is nearest you. Then before you know it, you have three loo providers on your phone, all taking up space. And the total is £30 a month for three. And it used to be free or max 30p. Yet somehow we are grateful.
Worse you find yourself tapping them all and just using the one that comes first. You summon one just to wash your hands, or you join the provider that has the best mirror. Don’t do that. The ones with mirrors-they never arrive-someone is always using them.
There is of course an app to sort through the apps and advise which provider you should use based on cleanliness or loo paper quality or lock quality. Not sure about you but I think lock quality is important in the High Street. I get that the industry does need some regulation but not travel rules.
Part of the problem is they all track each other. Each loo is programmed to follow other loos. Only when their empty. Don’t worry. They stay stationary when you are using them. Ok, well there are stories, but mostly stationary, except for that one company that is being prosecuted for abducting a small child. It was an accident. Its just that the mother ended up running after it for 2 miles-in heels. Like I say they need some regulation.
You can see a conga line of toilets trundling after each other down the High street at quiet times. It has taken some getting used to. Some loos are faster than others, some more unscrupulous. There are complaints from pensioners about aggressive toilets because toilets are programmed to sell themselves. The worst offer a small entry fee but then a hefty exit fee. People have been trapped-again not so good. I do think pay as you go should be banned. The good providers provide packages though, diarrhoea deals –things like that.
But of course there is the travel issue. They do take up space on the pavement that could be better utilised. I would say the highways agency and insurance companies have a point. I see why they are less than happy when toilets stray on to roads. There was one just last week out on the M25 just trundling around at 15 miles an hour for 6 hours. Someone had summoned it and then pulled off into the services. But the toilet got lost and stuck. It was chaos. Hence the idea of a law to ban them from going on roads. But when you are desperate and there is no option, the inconvenience of others in traffic seems small in comparison.
So I am opposed you see, to the toilet travel laws.