SNP - Tom Wills

Fully accessible toilets installed on ferries

Left to right: carer Jenny Whinnett, Liam Thom, PAMIS CEO Jenny Miller and NorthLink managing director Stuart Garrett.

NORTHLINK Ferries has introduced ‘Changing Places’ toilets on its two north boats for passengers with complex disabilities and their carers.

The introduction of the toilets, found on deck six of the Hjaltland and Hrossey, comes in partnership with campaign group Promoting A More Inclusive Society (PAMIS) and Transport Scotland.

Serco NorthLink Ferries is the first UK ferry operator to invest in fully-equipped Changing Places toilets.

The facilities go beyond standard accessible toilets with extra space to accommodate a disabled person, their wheelchair and one or two carers.

They have an adult-sized, height adjustable changing bench, a hoist and a centrally placed toilet.

Changing Places facilities will also launch on the Hamnavoe, which serves Orkney and the Scottish mainland, by the end of the year.

Jenny Miller, chief executive officer of PAMIS, said: “We’ve been very impressed with the commitment and consideration shown by Serco NorthLink Ferries in developing changing places toilets on their ferries.

“They have really listened to the stories from the families and people we work with and who feel excluded from so many activities that we all take for granted. We’re delighted that the Orkney and Shetland ferries will be the first in the country, and possibly the world, to have a Changing Places toilet.”

Islands minister Paul Wheelhouse added: “It’s very important that Scotland’s ferry services are fully accessible, offering the best passenger experience possible to everyone and this targeted investment marks very welcome progress on that journey.”

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