Unlike in countries such as the UK and Ireland, public toilets are few and far between in Belgium. The issue of what to do if you get caught short when you are out and about has been made worse by the measures designed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus that have meant that bars and restaurants have been closed for around 5 of the past 12 months. The problem is especially acute for women as there are far more urinals than sit-down toilets among the public toilet facilities that are in place. For example in the City of Brussels there are 53 public toilets of which 37 are urinals and just 16 sit-down facilities.
The Brussels Regional Transport Minister Elke Van de Brandt (Flemish green) says that she is all too aware of the issue. Currently the Brussels public transport company has 36 public toilets situated at or near its overground tram stops. Just 22 of these have wheelchair access.
During the course of this year a further 9 public toilet facilities will be installed with further 10 to be installed before the end of 2023. The 14 WCs that currently don’t have wheelchair access will be replaced.
Meanwhile, new toilet facilities will be installed at the Roodebeek metro station in Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe.
Ms Van den Brandt’s staff are currently compiling an inventory of all the public toilet facilities available across all 19 municipalities that make up the Brussels-Capital Region.