The ‘Changing Places’ at Coventry Station is within the newly refurbished section of the station, on the far side of platform one. The facility itself was tucked away across from the gates, and had we not come out from platform one, we would have not known it was there. There was ‘Changing Places’ signage above the bathroom and on the door, but no other signage around the station. I would suggest that there should be more signage around the station indicating there is a ‘Changing Places’, especially on the older side of the station where the ticket booth is as it receives more foot traffic. The Avanti West Coast train operator who runs the Coventry station does indicate on their website that they do have an accessible toilet, but they refer to it as a National Key toilet which isn’t the correct name for it. The facility itself is RADAR key operated, therefore the equipment inside is protected. However, if someone didn’t have their own key, they would have to find a member of staff who could collect one from the office across the station.
As the ‘Changing Places’ is in a quieter area of the station, sometimes finding a member of staff could be quite difficult. As we gained access with our RADAR key and noticed that the ceiling hoist was not operating, we found a member of staff to assist us but unfortunately found that they were not knowledgeable about the facility itself. We therefore had to show them the bathroom, and she just told us she’d inform the station of the hoist not working. One would assume that because the facility was newly refurbished, it would be in working order. Along with the ceiling hoist, there were also handlebars on either side of the toilet and a changing bed, all equipment expected in a ‘Changing Places’. The changing bed was folded against the wall, ready to be used, but unfortunately as many people with disabilities who would need it would also acquire the use of the ceiling hoist, so to have it not working would make the facility very inaccessible for those who need it. I cannot comment if there was a working shower in the facility as well.
The overall cleanliness of the facility was very good, as it hadn’t looked like it had much use to it. There were no hangers on the walls for jackets, which is a minor issue, but a major concern is that there was no screen of privacy. I felt it was needed in the space as the toilet was immediately opposite of the door, and if someone were to unknowingly come into the room while the toilet was in use, the user of the facility would have no privacy for themselves.
I feel that if this ‘Changing Places’ was in full working order, this facility could be very well used as it’s located in a popular train station with people coming and going.