China city unveils parking spaces for toilet breaks

A close up of on of the parking spaces with text in Chinese reading: Special toilet use Image copyright Xi'an city press office
Image caption The spaces are clearly marked as being for toilet users only

A city in central China now has free parking spaces reserved for drivers who need to answer the call of nature while on the road.

Spaces have been marked in yellow on main roads in Xi'an, close to 50 of the city's public toilets, the Hua Shang Bao newspaper reports. Each one is designated as a "special toilet use" space and there's a 15 minute time limit for drivers who park in them, so anyone who tries to take advantage of the spots to go shopping will be fined. The city's traffic police are also asking people to report any cars that occupy the spaces long-term.

One local driver told China Daily that he was pleased to find a place where he could pause for a quick toilet break without having to pay. And this is only the first phase of city's plan for loo-friendly spaces. Xi'an has more than 1,300 public toilets and traffic police say they're looking to create more reserved parking so that people can easily make use of the facilities.

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