Is that worth 50 cents? I guess so...

LONDON Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:32pm EST

A cubicle is seen at the Oxford Circus public lavatories in London, in this file photo. First came SatNav for lost drivers. Now there's ''SatLav'', a toilet-finding service to help people caught short in central London. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

A cubicle is seen at the Oxford Circus public lavatories in London, in this file photo. First came SatNav for lost drivers. Now there's ''SatLav'', a toilet-finding service to help people caught short in central London.

Credit: Reuters/Dylan Martinez

Related Topics

LONDON (Reuters) - First came SatNav for lost drivers. Now there's "SatLav," a toilet-finding service to help people caught short in central London.

Thursday, Westminster City Council launched a new mobile phone text message service that will guide Londoners and tourists to their nearest public lavatory.

Anyone who sends the word "Toilet" to 80097 will receive a reply giving details of their nearest public convenience.

Student Gail Knight, 26, came up with the idea for an innovation competition run by the council.

"When I'm out with friends we're always ducking into McDonalds or department stores to use their loos but we feel a bit bad about it," she said. "I thought a text service would be really useful for people on the move."

The service is available across the Westminster, an area that includes many of the capital's most popular sights, such as Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace.

Unlike in-car devices that rely on satellites to pinpoint someone's location, the SatLav uses mobile phone technology.

All that comes at a price, however. Rather than spending a penny, people will be charged 25 pence ($0.52) per text.

FILED UNDER: