Cllr Gin Tidridge spoke at the Local Area Committee for Eastleigh town tonight about the public toilet block at The Hub:
“For a number of years, the first impressions local residents have of entering Eastleigh from Bishopstoke is a derelict public toilet block. The toilet block was closed due to concerns about anti-social behaviour but the alternative presented to the public is completely inadequate.
Being able to access a public toilet is an incredibly important factor for sustainable transport to thrive. It’s great to see residents of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak walking into town, but concerns about being “caught short” en-route is a real barrier to many. Not feeling confident to walk means that more people drive, adding to the town centre’s air pollution and congestion.
So how about the alternative currently presented? The public are expected to use the toilets in The Hub.
The Hub has two toilets. Not two sets of toilets, but two toilets. Two toilets serving 2 sports halls, the tennis courts, five a side football pitches, play area, recreation ground and rugby pitches. There are often queues, especially when activities are taking place at The Hub.
Even if the public were not adding to pressure on The Hub’s 2 toilets, this level of provision is inadequate for users of what should be a key sports and youth facility for the borough.
Both toilets are only accessible when The Hub is open. The building is currently closed due to covid19 restrictions but even before last March, the centre is not open 7 days a week between 9am and 6pm.
The Hub has long been neglected by ELAC. Although it is a key venue for rugby and arguably a Borough asset, it is not treated as such. I love the new sports centre at Fleming Park, but this level of excellence is certainly not consistent across ELAC’s sports facilities.
The Itchen Way is a fantastic long distance footpath, used by many local residents for shorter strolls as well as having the potential to draw people to our area. Walkers exit the path to cross the road, where their view of Eastleigh is a closed toilet block and a queue of traffic. The convenience of a public convenience would make the path even more of an asset to our area.
I have raised this issue before, indeed the Bishopstoke, Fair Oak and Horton Heath Local Area Committee has raised it.
And yet the toilet block is still there, unused & increasingly derelict. And The Hub still has just two toilets.”
“I was pleased that the Committee are planning to take action. The toilet block is to be demolished and they are talking to users of The Hub about improvements. I don’t think all the Councillors were aware that The Hub has such inadequate facilities. I’m just hoping that action happens.”