UK public toilets are less common 英國公共廁所數量有所下降

Where can you go to the toilet in the UK if you're desperate? Find out here.
Toilets are being closed in the UK.

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每個國家都會在車站、機場等公共場所設置廁所,以方便人們使用。然而,據最近公布的數據表明,在英國,去公共廁所 “方便” 這件事正變得越來越難,這是因為英國政府已經停止維護多處公廁。聽聲音檔,跟《隨身英語》學習多種表示 “上廁所” 的委婉說法。

Vocabulary: toilets 詞彙: 廁所

When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go. At least that’s the old saying! It refers to the often inconvenient need for a person to visit the toilet. It can happen to us all. There you are, out and about – when suddenly your bladder informs you that you need to spend a penny. The logical thing to do is tie a knot in it until you get to your destination, but what if you’re busting? That’s when you head straight to the nearest public lavatory. But in the UK, that might prove tough.

Public loos in the UK appear to be going down the toilet. At least 673 public restrooms across the UK have not been maintained by their councils since 2010, according to figures obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act. That means there are 13% fewer places where a person can have a tinkle. Why is this?

It’s a combination of two factors. Councils in the UK are facing enormous pressure to reduce spending. By 2020, they will have experienced a 54% reduction in funding from central government, according to the UK’s Local Government Association. Secondly, there is no legal requirement for a local authority to provide a location to relieve yourself. As a result, toilet upkeep often gets ‘flushed‘ to save money. Many councils have handed over the running of some toilets to parish councils, private companies or community groups.

Councils have a ‘moral responsibility’ to provide access to public toilets, Raymond Martin of the British Toilet Association told the BBC. And it would seem that they know it, too. Despite closures, many councils have backed schemes to allow the public to use private business facilities to do their business. The City of London has run a community toilet scheme since 2012, giving the public free access to their toilets during trading hours, and Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Community Toilet Scheme offers businesses in their remit a financial incentive to allow the public to powder their noses. In addition, Network Rail, owner and operator of the railway infrastructure in Britain, has plans in the pipeline to scrap entry fees at all of its station toilets from 2019.

So it seems all hope is not lost. Despite the fact that council-run public toilet numbers are down, there are alternatives available. Rather than having to cross your legs, look around. You can always find somewhere that will let you polish the porcelain.

詞彙表

go 上廁所(口語)
toilet 洗手間
bladder 膀胱
spend a penny 去洗手間方便一下
tie a knot in it 忍著(口語)
busting 急著想上廁所
public lavatory 公共洗手間
loo 廁所(口語)
go down the toilet 打水漂,毀了(此處是雙關用法)
restroom 公共洗手間
have a tinkle 小便(兒童用語)
relieve yourself 解手(禮貌說法)
flush 付諸東流,拋棄
do your business 這裡指上廁所
powder your nose 如廁(委婉說法)
in the pipeline 在醞釀中,在籌備中
cross your legs (因憋著想上廁所而)交叉雙腿
polish the porcelain 上廁所

測驗與練習

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How many public toilets haven’t been looked after since 2010?

2. True or false: All toilet closures across the country have been the same. 

3. What does Raymond Martin say about UK councils’ responsibility to provide toilets?

4. How much will Network Rail charge for the public to use their toilets from 2019?

5. Which word in the text means ‘the area an organisation has authority over’?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I’m sorry, sweetie. There aren’t any toilets near here. You’ll have to ______.

go       spend a penny       tie a knot in it       relieve yourself

2. Excuse me, I’m not a customer, but could I please use your ______?

public lavatory       porcelain       loo       pipeline

3. Urine is produced by the kidneys and stored in the ______.

bladder       toilet       loo       legs

4. The new business development is ______ and expected to be finished soon.

spend a penny       down the toilet       powder your nose       in the pipeline

5. Before we go can I just nip to the loo? I need to ______.

spend a penny       relieve yourself       power my nose       poke the porcelain

答案

1. 閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How many public toilets haven’t been looked after since 2010?
At least 673 public restrooms across the UK have not been maintained by their councils since 2010.

2. True or false: All toilet closures across the country have been the same.
False. There are regional variations in closures.

3. What does Raymond Martin say about UK councils’ responsibility to provide toilets?
Raymond Martin says that councils have a “moral responsibility” to provide access to public toilets.

4. How much will Network Rail charge for the public to use their toilets from 2019?
Nothing. Toilets will be free to use.

5. Which word in the text means ‘the area an organisation has authority over’?
Remit. Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Community Toilet Scheme offers businesses in their remit a financial incentive to allow the public to powder their noses.



2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單字填入句子的空格處。

1. I’m sorry, sweetie. There aren’t any toilets near here. You’ll have to tie a knot in it.

2. Excuse me, I’m not a customer, but could I please use your loo?

3. Urine is produced by the kidneys and stored in the bladder.

4. The new business development is in the pipeline and expected to be finished soon.

5. Before we go can I just nip to the loo? I need to spend a penny.

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