YORK is near the bottom of a new national league table for accessibility to public loos.

Analysis has concluded only four out of 26 public toilets in the city - about 15 per cent - are accessible-friendly.

This compares with top-of-the-league Edinburgh, where 66 per cent of loos are accessible, and Leeds, where 40 per cent are.

Only Sunderland and Aberdeen come lower than York out of the 28 cities in the ‘2020 Loo accessibility index,’ commissioned by Bathing Solutions.

The authors say that for millions of people living with disability in the UK, accessible toilets can mean the difference between a day out and being stranded at home, and they say that standard accessible toilets aren’t “accessible” for everybody.

“People with severe and multiple learning disabilities, as well as those with a range of other disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and muscle-wasting conditions, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, stroke or even older people need more well-adapted facilities,” they say.

“This includes both extra equipment and extra space to enable them to use toilet facilities safely and comfortably.

“Changing Places toilets are more spacious than standard accessible toilets. They include equipment such as height-adjustable changing benches, a tracking hoist system, screens and curtains for privacy and wide tear-off paper rolls.”

James Gilchrist, an assistant director at City of York Council, said he "absolutely recognisesd" there was always more it could do to improve facilities in York and everyone should have the freedom to enjoy days out in dignity and comfort.

“We have been actively working with Age Friendly York over the last few years, through their Getting Out and About surveys, to gain important feedback from many residents in respect to the quantity of public toilets,” he said.

“Through this feedback we’ve learnt that many people felt there was not sufficient public seating in York too, so we’ve combined the concept and are developing a ‘take a seat’ type initiative, similar to other cities like Nottingham. We hope to continue building on this important piece of work when Covid national restrictions lift.

“We have four Changing Places public toilet sites in York, which are fully accessible and provide sufficient space and equipment including changing benches and hoists. All nine public toilet sites have disabled access and are available with a radar key.”

He said there were many other toilets in the city not provided by the council, such as in the library or railway station.