New toilets currently being built in London will be gender neutral, the Mayor of London has announced.
Sadiq Khan hopes the new loos will help older people, disabled people, families with babies and young children and pregnant women as well as making trans and non-binary people feel more welcome.
It is also hoped the toilets will accommodate tourists and visitors who may be less familiar with local facilities.
Concerns were raised that some Londoners and visitors to the city are limited in terms of where they can visit and how long they can spend somewhere because the capital does not have enough appropriate facilities.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘I have vowed to be a Mayor for all Londoners so I am determined to ensure that everyone has the ability to enjoy our great city to its fullest.
‘Toilets are a vital public service and can help to shape the experience of the capital for those who live here and for those visiting.
‘We need a range of toilets that reflect the incredible diversity of this city – giving people the confidence to move around London with dignity.’
The move was welcomed by campaigners who said the decision to make facilities gender neutral was ‘symbolic’ of an inclusive and welcoming city.
Ruth Hunt, chief executive at Stonewall, said: ‘We’re pleased the Mayor has used the London Plan to call on councils to create more gender neutral toilets, and so help meet the needs of all Londoners and the city’s many visitors.
‘Gender-neutral toilets are a practical solution for many people, for many reasons and it’s a powerful demonstration of acceptance that has benefits for everyone.
‘But this move isn’t just practical, it’s symbolic. By introducing gender-neutral toilets, planners can show that London is a city that cherishes its diverse population.’
It was also welcomed by older people’s charities who said more lavatories would give elderly people the confidence to go out and about in the capital.
Earlier this year, half of respondents to an Age UK survey of over-75s said too few lavatories was a ‘regular’ problem when going out shopping.
Chief Executive of, Age UK London, Paul Goulden said: ‘It is reassuring to see that the Mayor’s London Plan has committed to building more accessible public toilets across the capital.
‘We want as many older Londoners as possible to be able to move confidently around their city without restriction and this pledge should go a long way to improving their experiences when out and about in London.’