Accessible Toilets, Suffolk

The Apex Bury St Edmonds

Although I’ve been to Bury a few times and attended a show at The Apex, I don’t think I’d checked out this particular loo until I went to Bury Christmas Fayre this year.

This accessible toilet is situated on the first floor of The Apex Theatre. A lift on the far left of the main foyer will take you up there, it’s a fairly small lift, just enough space for myself and a PA.

When exiting the lift in reverse, of which I have to do because there is no turning space, the toilets are down the corridor on your right.

The corridor was wide enough to allow for turning space into the toilet, and as the door opened inwards onto the bathroom it didn’t get in the way for people passing. The door was very wide and heavy, but swung easily on the hinges.

It wasn’t until I was inside the bathroom and my PA tried to close the door that we noticed a massive error in the design. We struggled to close the door as my chair was in its way. This wasn’t the largest accessible bathroom for a fairly modern building. As far as I know there wouldn’t have been any restrictions on the size (do correct me if this is the case, although there are plenty of other locations inside that the accessible loo could have been placed). I had to reverse to allow my PA to pass and move a bin that was to the left of the toilet. With this bin moved I could wheel forwards more, just about making space for the door to be swung shut. I see why the door was designed to be opened inwards due to the corridor and possibly of it being pushed open into somebody’s face, but it really wasn’t thought through. My chair isn’t the biggest of its kind either.

Once inside and door closed there was just enough space for myself and PA, with very little room to move. There were 2 giant bins and a pull down baby changing surface that all engulfed a lot of the space.

The red emergency cord was hanging to the floor, however it’s placement and the organisation of the room meant that it was partly tucked away behind a bin, not allowing for easy reach in an emergency.

There are ample hand rails in situ however if you require them to transfer or stand then you would have to fight with the bins and be lucky if you could reach them at all, as again the bins are restricting access to them.

The sink hangs over and is easy to wheel under, with the soap being just above. However the mirror and toilet roll holder are placed far to high to be of use if you are sitting.

Overall I feel this accessible bathroom is of poor design for something that looks so modern. The decor is fresh and it was extremely clean, but access could definitely be improved.

Scores

Changing Places 0/10

Space 5/10

Cleanliness 9/10

Decor 7/10

Safety 4/10

Practicality 3/10

Entering/access 2/10

You can read all of my accessible toilet reviews here.

2 thoughts on “The Apex Bury St Edmonds”

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