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Walking Groups and RADAR Disabled Toilets

From Miriam C

Friday, 26 April 2019

So, yet again I, a woman with complex disabilities, find myself infuriated by a group of walkers misusing disabled toilet facilities in Hebden Bridge (it also happens in Todmorden).

Only last week a random man shouted abuse at me because I closed the door of the disabled toilet behind me, not letting him in as he was angling for.  I pointed out that if he had a RADAR key he could use the disabled facilities, and if he didn't then he shouldn't be using them anyway.  Many disabled toilet users will have had the same response he gave: "What business of yours is it?" Literally and logically it is the business of all people who genuinely have a key for RADAR facilities for disability reasons, in the knowledge that some of us have disabling conditions that may be invisible, but mean we cannot wait without risking wetting or soiling ourselves, or due to anxiety/mental health/other unseen disability.

Nipping into an empty disabled loo may seem a harmless way to save a whole 20p to non-disabled people, but when someone really needs the facilities it's anything but.

I find it impossible to understand why walking groups think it's funny to misuse disabled facilities - and they do.  When I came out of the RADAR toilet this morning I deliberately closed the door to lock it as I always do,and one or two in the walking group laughed out loud as they watched me do this.

There was a local woman with this group, who I recognised but don't know the name of.I hope she reads this.Life is hard enough for all with disabilities, without people like you making it harder.

BTW I'm sure by this point someone will be itching to say that I couldn't know that someone in the walking group didn't have an invisible disability.This of course is true,but I think it's safe to say that all 10 of them didn't.  If you all did I offer sincere apologies - but I struggle to answer why there was only one RADAR key among you.