I WRITE in response to the letters from Laura Cooper and Brian Bristow (Letters, 16 February).

These are just the latest of many on the subject of the car park toilet closure. I have been collecting signatures for this campaign, begun by David Coole after Test Valley Cllr Iris Andersen highlighted the council’s intention to demolish the George Yard block some months ago.

We have found that the vast majority of people who sign the petition, either in town or on line – are very angry that Test Valley Borough Council plans to close these essential facilities. We have spoken to many residents and visitors, including the elderly, disabled and parents of young children who have confirmed that the council’s café/pub scheme does not work. With wheelchairs, mobility scooters or pushchairs, it is impossible to reach the toilets in busy cafes and there are only two in each establishment.

The Redbridge pub is also in the scheme, and many people do not like to go into a pub just to use the toilets, or to take their children in there.

In addition, those establishments taking part in the scheme are poorly signed and this leads to more confusion.

What makes us Andover residents most angry is that the public were not consulted in any way before this decision to demolish a perfectly good toilet block was made.

Previously, the Borden Gate toilets, also widely used, were also closed without consultation.

So the only remaining toilets are in Chantry Centre, near the bus station – a long walk for coach passengers being dropped off at George Yard!

There are many seniors’ clubs and other organisations who use the car park as a pick up and drop off point for trips out, and those alighting from buses stopping in East Street also used George Yard toilets as their first point of call. All we are asking for is that the car park toilets be re-opened with attendants, who will ensure that they are clean and that no drug use take place in them. Most people would be happy to pay a few pence for this convenience and peace of mind.

All these issues seem to be ignored by Test Valley Borough Council, and Phil North, Councillor for Enham Alamein, does not seem to be well representing the many disabled people in the village, who make regular shopping trips into town. So please sign this petition and convince the council that the people of Andover and district do know what they want and will fight for it!

Irene Williams, Heath Vale, Andover.