Poll: Petition calls for toilets to be built at Old Cattle Market bus station in Ipswich

Old Cattle Market Bus Station in Ipswich

Old Cattle Market Bus Station in Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Pressure is growing on council officials to stump up the cash and build public toilets at the newly-refurbished bus station in Ipswich.

A petition has been launched in the Suffolk Coastal area, where many passengers who use the Old Cattle Market bus station for journeys to and from the county town are upset at the inconvenient situation – and many are signing to express their concern.

A review of the controversial decision not to include any public toilets in the redesign of the bus station is to take place, but passengers will have to wait until next year for the outcome.

Russell Whiting, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for the Suffolk Coastal seat, launched the petition asking Suffolk County Council to put toilets at the bus station and has been collecting signatures in several communities, including Felixstowe.

He said: “Felixstowe residents are clearly concerned that there are no toilets at the refurbished bus station.

“I hope their voices will be heard loud and clear by Suffolk County Council. There is cross-party support for our petition.”

Trimley St Mary parish councillor Mary Dixon said: “Public toilets could have been added on to the provision for staff.”

Felixstowe councillor Margaret Morris said the suggestion that people should use the toilets at the Buttermarket was ridiculous – to expect young children to walk four-and-a-half minutes to the shopping complex was “unrealistic, as any parent or grandparent can tell you”.

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Campaigner Sheila Wright, of Wickham Market, who has written to Graham Newman, county councillor with responsibility for transport, on the issue, agreed.

She said: “It’s not right. No one should be running to and from a shopping complex or asking a local business to use a toilet – there should be public toilets at the bus station.

“Other towns’ bus stations have toilets and ours should, too.”

Mr Newman said: “The decision not to rebuild public toilet facilities was taken in light of the previous toilets being burnt down.

“That said, I have received a large amount of correspondence on this issue so I have instructed officers to review the decision. Bearing in mind what happened to the previous block, clearly a different model of cleanliness and security will be required for any potential replacement facility.

“But provided that we can find a solution that is affordable, guarantees the facilities will be maintained to a high standard and are supervised, I think this is something we can seriously look at.”

The review is expected to look at a number of options for the possibility of installing public toilets at the bus station, and a final decision is expected to be taken early next year.