Unnecessary laundry.

I don’t usually take photos of my laundry.

But this wash bothered me because it should not have needed to be washed.

On Thursday we made another of our long journeys to Bristol Children’s Hospital going up and back in one day. We set off at 8:15am and reached home again at 8:45pm.

Adam copes very well with these journeys. I find them very stressful, not due to the procedure he is having but due to the added difficulties we face when travelling.

I am sure that anyone with children is very aware of the particular joys of a long journey with them! They never need to wee at a convenient point, or they somehow seem to manage to not go fully so need to go again shortly after re-joining the motorway.

Motorway service stations are a huge help!

Can you imagine how hard a long journey across the country would be without them?

I don’t need to imagine it.

For us, there are a mere 7 service stations on the entire motorway network with toilets we can all use. Just 7! All because my son cannot stand at all. All because he needs a hoist and a bench. Like hundreds of thousands of other people do!

motorway changing places

And only one of those is on our route. 200 miles with just one toilet en route. Would you fancy it? With children!

We usually detour off our route to make use of non-motorway Changing Places toilets but the exit to our regular stop is not signposted on the homeward journey. We didn’t realise we had missed it.

We were at Exeter Services, Adam needed the toilet but there was no point going in. He can’t “go” there!

A quick online search reveals the two nearest ones. One was in a shopping centre in Exeter, the other back the way we just came. Both about 15 minutes away.

Both will add to our journey time and there isn’t time to deliberate. We go with the one which sends us back in the direction from which we just came. We know the route and the parking situation at that one.

Approximately 15 minutes later we reach the toilet.

We didn’t make it in time.

One day, this might be you.

Any one of us can become disabled at any time.

None of us is immune.


If it had been me who had needed the toilet I could have used the one at Exeter Services.

They provide toilets for me.

Am I really more important than a person with disabilities?

I do blame myself too. I should have been thinking ahead. I should have remembered that the exit we needed was not signposted on the southbound journey.  I was tired. Sometimes I can’t keep everything in order. I don’t have superpowers. I don’t even have a cape!

Motorway service stations provide facilities which most of us consider to be essential on a long journey and the Chief Executives are all aware of just how important these facilities are. They know they exist.

I have asked Exeter Services to make their toilet facilities accessible.

moto 1



At “a number of our sites”.

That number is 2.




Surely this is a development opportunity? Should accessibility have to wait till something more important needs doing?

Moto 2

I fear that my comments were forwarded and filed under “Unnecessary“.

They didn’t tell Adam that he matters.

They didn’t want to do better.






Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

11 thoughts on “Unnecessary laundry.

  1. This is the second time I have visited your blog and I can understand what you are going through and it is not easy… as you said no one is immune from becoming sick or have a disability maybe only when it hits you or someone close to you that you truly think about it.
    Stay strong and I hope that you do change the world one toilet at a time 😉 #KCACOLS.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. With the number of customers moto has and the number of service stations they make lots of money from, it’s ridiculous that across the whole country they have 2 properly accessible toilets. So sorry this happened to you and Adam, Rachel! #AnythingGoes

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ……… I hope that we may continue to welcome you to our facilities again in future.
    Haven’t we heard a similar comment before? What is the matter with these people that cannot understand that you are unable to use their facilities because they are lacking in two simple essentials, a hoist and bench, yet they hope you will visit again?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My Mother in law had a massive stroke 3 weeks after Arthur was born (now 19 months). It was a massively emotional time, becoming parents and then facing the prospect of losing one of our own – She almost didn’t pull through, almost. We are so grateful she did, but she is now in a wheelchair with no movement down one side. They live in Holland, where facilties for those with disabilities is incredibly poor in comparison to our country. Shops, cafes, restaurants do not need to have accessible toilets or even be accessible. Travelling somewhere new is hard because trying to find anywhere suitable is next to impossible. It isnt somthing I really considered or thought much about until I was faced with the dilemma of where to find a toilet when we were out together and it really does add so much more stress than is needed. I think something needs to change. Im not sure how though!

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday


  5. I do hope that they the your suggestions into consideration! It can be so hard to effect change. I don’t know why they aren’t required to make all their bathrooms accessible. Good Luck #KCACOLS


  6. What a stressful situation, and what a non-committal response to your letter. I hope someone does start listening to you and take some action to make life easier for families like yours. x #KCACOLS


  7. Ah, this is so sad, but indicative of a number of public places and services just not catering for disabled people. As I drag the buggy up the steps at our local station, I always feel bad for those in wheelchairs. I just don’t know how people think they are supposed to cope. I hope your campaign is successful. You certainly have my support. Pen x #KCACOLS


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