The chief executives of the UK’s three largest motorway service area (MSA) providers have joined forces to create a network of accessible toilets for people with disabilities.
The move came as Changing Places, which are accessible facilities, celebrated their 11th anniversary.
In a joint statement, Robbie Bell (CEO, Welcome Break), Tim Moss (CEO, Moto Hospitality) and Mark Fox (CEO, Roadchef) said: “We congratulate Changing Places on their anniversary and their vital work. We are well aware of the importance of these facilities for those who need them and indeed that there are still too few of them, which is why we are all committed to doing more.
“We have already invested over £1m in these facilities at  sites on the motorway network. By the end of 2018 there will be six more, increasing the number of Changing Places facilities by 30% with all of them providing vital services to people of limited mobility.”
The minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, welcomed the commitment, saying: “Motorway service areas provide a crucial role to the travelling public and I am so pleased with the support that they have shown Changing Places. Their plans to invest and build more facilities will rightly be welcomed by disabled travellers and those with health conditions across the country.”
Changing Places are state-of-the-art assisted accessible toilets which include a height-adjustable changing bench and ceiling tracking hoist, as well as additional space and a peninsular toilet with space for carers on either side.
Welcome Break has MSAs in 27 locations and has Changing Places facilities at eight sites, with three more to come before 2019. To date, Welcome Break has invested over £550,000 in these facilities and has the ambition of ensuring a Changing Places facility is within two hours of any Welcome Break site.
Moto Hospitality has MSAs in 35 locations across the UK’s motorways and has Changing Places facilities at six sites, with a total investment of £450,000. In addition, Moto has plans for Changing Places facilities at two further sites this year with a further two each year until a full network is complete. Moto is also committed to opening its new sites with full Changing Places facilities.
RoadChef operates MSAs in 21 locations across the country and has Changing Places facilities at three sites, with an investment of £150,000 in these facilities. Roadchef has plans to invest a further £50,000 into one more Changing Places facility this year.