SANITARY product dispensers will now be available in all accessible toilets operated by Transport for Greater Manchester, in response to a Bolton News investigation.

After a Bolton News report on Friday revealed that Bolton Interchange’s accessible toilets do not include sanitary product dispensers, TfGM responded the next day to apologise and to confirm that they would now be installed.

A spokesman for TfGM says a contractor has been contacted and work will commence as soon as possible in all accessible toilets operated by the regional transport body.

The spokesman said: “We apologise unreservedly for any inconvenience caused and are taking steps to ensure sanitary products will be available in the accessible toilets soon.”

An employee at Bolton Interchange says the dispensers will be installed this week.

The progress comes after a report into the facilities available to disabled people when they are on their periods. Muscular dystrophy activist Fiona Anderson highlighted that sanitary product dispensers are rarely included in accessible toilets for when disabled women are caught short of products.

On hearing the news that TfGM will be fitting the dispensers, Ms Anderson said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic! Way to go to TfGM, they’re definitely paving the way for inclusivity.

“Once people see that TfGM have taken action, they will realise that it should be compulsory and it will hopefully roll out for the rest of the country.

“I think it will make a big difference, women won’t be caught short. It’ll take a weight off people’s minds.

“It will be a positive change for disabled people, it’s not like we’re complaining about nothing, it affects a lot of people.”

Ms Anderson added that she hopes the decision changes the way accessible toilets are built in the future. She said: “It would be great if other areas followed suit and this was part of the plans when toilets are being built, instead of an afterthought. You don’t want to be mithering about it after.”

Speaking about the current state of accessible toilets, Ms Anderson said: “There’s absolutely none in regular accessible toilets. Out of my whole disabled life, I’ve come across them once.

I had no clue what the machine was because I’d never seen one in a disabled toilet.

“In Bolton, even though the transport interchange had a brand new accessible toilet when it was opened, there’s still no sanitary product dispenser. It’s got all the features, except if you’re a disabled woman.”

“[The dispensers are] just as important as all the other facilities.

“You’d expect in this day and age for people to think that disabled women actually have periods. It seems like that’s something we have to make society aware of, it’s just not talked about.”

Although standard female toilets do have sanitary dispensers, the MD activist said that they can still be inaccessible to women in wheelchairs. Wheelchairs may not fit around the corners leading to the dispensers, or the dispensers may be positioned too high for people in wheelchairs to reach.