There is only one public loo for every 36,000 people in Swindon, new figures have revealed.

That’s three times more people per toilet than the rest of the country.

The British Toilet Association used a Freedom of Information request to reveal that Swindon Borough Council operates only a third of the number of lavatories it did at the turn of the century.

Twelve have been closed across the town from the 18 available in 2000 - the council only runs six now.

Councillor for Eastcott Stan Pajak said he has been concerned about the diminishing number of conveniences for a while.

He said: “This toilet situation has been an issue for some time in Swindon and we need to see more public loos in this town.

“Could you imagine the queue if you knew there was 36,000 people to one accessible toilet?”

Coun Pajak wants to set up a scheme to highlight the public conveniences that are still available for use.

He said: “Elderly residents would make great use of the facilities and so would many more age groups if they knew it was there for them to use.”

Resident Mavis Childs, 79, said: “I don’t see the logic in taking away public toilets; the figure of how many loos there is to how many thousand is unacceptable. We are meant to be enhancing as a town, not taking a step back.”

Swindon’s figure of one public loo for every 36,727 residents suffers compared to the UK average of one to 10,930 people.

A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “Up until a couple of years ago, there were 10 public toilets across the borough.

“Following the creation of the new parish councils in April 2017, four toilets closed when the new authorities decided not to take them on.

“Some toilets, such as those in Gorse Hill, maintained by the Central Swindon North Parish Council, have recently been refurbished by the parish council and offer people an excellent service.”

Local authorities can come to an agreement with private businesses to open their amenities for the public in exchange for a payment or a tax credit.

The British Toilet Association has started a campaign called Use Our Loos to encourage businesses to open their toilets to non-customers and make it visible by having a sticker on display

The director of the organisation, Raymond Martin, said: “We know that councils are under immense pressure with their budgets and despite having no legal obligation to maintain these public facilities, they have continued to try to reverse the rate of decline.

“They are constantly looking at alternative ideas, such as individual Community Toilet Schemes, to provide reasonable provision for their communities.

“Use our Loos is a community-oriented solution not about opening more toilets but making more toilets that already exist accessible to the public.”

Gillian Kemp, founder of Truckers’ Toilets UK, warned a lack of available loos has an unpleasant knock-on effect.

She said: “Drivers need to ‘go’ somewhere and it should be no surprise if alleyways, wooded areas etc become used as a toilet which will incur clean-up costs.” It is not the fault of the driver – in fact to ‘hold on’ can lead to a reduction in

concentration as well as encourage health problems.”