Is the location potty?: Anger after ‘turdis’ toilet built outside Chigwell homes

The toilet, dubbed the turdis, was installed for bus drivers to relieve themsleves in. Photo: Julie

The toilet, dubbed the turdis, was installed for bus drivers to relieve themsleves in. Photo: Julie Thomas - Credit: Archant

A resident is annoyed that a silver toilet - shaped like Dr Who’s Tardis - was installed near her house for W14 bus drivers to use.

Deputy headteacher Julie Thomas, 50, said Redbridge Council did not consult with her about the location of the metal WC and the “turdis” is likely to devalue the price of her house when she comes to sell.

The loo, erected on the corner of Cross Road and Manor Road, Chigwell, is part of Transport for London’s (TfL) bid to improve conditions for its drivers by providing metal huts for staff to use when nature calls.

But Julie said while she understands that workers need to relieve themselves, they could simply use the nearby pub or hotel if they were desperate.

“I had a letter from TfL put through my door about a week before but I have had no consultation or mention from Redbridge Council,” she said

“Then a big metal container appears shaped like a silver turdis.

“I feel like I have no voice, no say, and no rights.

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“The house is a legacy for my four children and I have just had a loft conversion - it will devalue my property if I want to sell it.”

Julie suggested that if TfL needed to build a solar-powered toilet, a better location could have been chosen in the form of a pub car park down the road.

“I think I smelled something coming from the toilet earlier,” she added.

“It had a hazard sign displayed on it so I don’t know what has been going on in there.”

The teacher wrote to the council and her Ilford North MP in the hope that they could shed light on the issue.

A spokesman for Wes Streeting said: “We are aware of concerns and are raising the issue with TfL”.

Redbridge Council added: “This toilet was installed by TfL for its bus drivers. They are within their legal rights to do this, but we would normally expect them to consult with residents first.

“We are surprised this hasn’t been done and recognise residents’ concerns about the location of the toilet.

“We will be asking TfL to move the location.”

In a letter to residents, TfL said toilets were installed as part of the Mayor of London’s objective of providing facilities for drivers where “no facilities were available”.

It said the provision of loos meets a basic human requirement and toilets at the end of routes ensure that drivers have sufficient time for a toilet break and are “operationally efficient improving the service to the travelling public”.

“Providing adequate toilets removes a potential distraction for bus drivers ensuring they can focus on safely driving the bus.

“TfL has permitted development rights to install these facilities under part 9 class c of the town and country planning order, however, we have been working with the London Borough of Redbridge to ensure we install the facility in a suitable location that meets the operational requirements and fits unobtrusively into the local environment.”