The letters from Peter Hoffer and Ann and Norman Roberts (aj 10.9.98) highlight an important issue which male colleagues need to be better informed about.
There are many buildings where women's wcs comprise narrow cubicles with not enough room to squeeze between the door swing and the loo without brushing clothes against a wet (and probably dirty) loo seat. (Don't forget that women are getting bigger).
There is often nowhere to put down bags except on an equally wet and dirty floor - either when in the loo or using free-standing hand basins. And - most commonly - there is only a hot air drier for drying wet hands, in the mistaken belief that this is the most hygienic solution, but are regarded by women as ineffective, too time-consuming, at the wrong height for small children, likely to heat wedding rings to a burning temperature, and a waste of space.
And as for cigarettes . . . Either men don't think women smoke, so don't provide for it - ensuring shelves and fittings get covered in burns in no time at all, or no receptacles of any kind are provided in case spent embers start a fire.
I despair of finding a new loo where the designer has thought this through properly. It really is about time we got this most basic and regularly detailed part of our work right.
PATRICIA A TUTT
Peel, Isle of Man
PS. If space is at a premium, let's adopt the unisex option, Ally McBeal fashion.