Belfast Telegraph

Hygiene survey pans Lisburn's public toilets as the dirtiest in the UK

By Jill Goligher

Lisburn is home to some of the least hygienic public toilets in the UK, according to new research.

Online company Soap Supplier conducted a survey of 2,500 adults to name the cities with the UK's best facilities.

Using a 10-point rating that takes into consideration a toilet's cleanliness and hygiene, Lisburn was voted the worst with a shameful score of 2.1.

Southampton was ranked the second worst place in the UK to go to the loo with a dismal score of 2.5, closely followed by Portsmouth with a poor 2.7.

Belfast fared little better on just 3.7.

People in Londonderry rated public toilets in their city an unpleasant 3.8 out of 10.

By contrast, the accolade of the UK's best public loos went to Worcester in England, scoring a hygienic rating of 6.7.

A public toilet in Droitwich, northern Worcester, was recently named as one of the best places in the country to spend a penny after winning the Loo of the Year contest.

Edinburgh came in second with a score of 5.6.

The survey revealed that almost a third of adults would rather spend money on a coffee or drink from a cafe, just to use the toilet and avoid a public facility.

Some 3.9% of those questioned for the poll even admitted to sneaking into an establishment and pretending to have bought something in order to use the toilet.

The figures slightly differ depending on gender.

For men, the smell is the worst thing about using a public toilet, whereas women have said no toilet roll was the number one turn-off.

Most people say they tend to choose the cubicle they consider the cleanest.

The survey revealed that when faced with a variety of empty bathroom stalls, 47.5% of us would pick the furthest away from the door, while 37.4% would pick the closest stall.

The survey also indicated that people believe the middle cubicle to be the most hygienic in a public bathroom.

Green Party representative Aine Groogan said that it was time for action.

She said: "This is a shocking result and it shows that we really need to up our game in Northern Ireland.

"We are attracting increasing numbers of tourists to our beautiful cities and towns and this kind of experience is a huge turn-off that deters them from coming back."

She added: "It is also selling the people who live here well short.

"Local people require hygienic conditions when they use public services and Belfast City Council should investigate the reasons behind low ratings of their public amenities and take appropriate action." 

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