The urinals were installed 12 years ago, to some excitement as they were considered rather modern at the time. However, they failed to catch on and are now often locked and out of use.
Women's urinals have been around for a while, in 1953 American Standard unveiled a urinal for use in roadside toilets but the design of women’s urinals often require the user to hover awkwardly and can be tricky if the user is wearing trousers.
More recently, models which require a specialised funnel have been introduced for use at outdoor music festivals like Glastonbury.
The manufacturers of the urinals said that when used correctly they are more sanitary than ‘sit down toilets’ as the user doesn’t have to come into contact with the seat.
They also take up less floor space – having only a small partition wall between each urinal – and use less water.
The four women’s urinals in the Salzburg Congress building seemed to be a cause of confusion, Bert Brugger, boss of Tourismus Salzburg GmbH (TSG) told the Austrian Press Agency.
Some women believed they had mistakenly wandered into a men’s toilet and others just had no idea how to use them – although an illustration was available. Brugger confirmed that the urinals could soon be removed.
Austria’s Chamber of Commerce said it doubted that women’s urinals would ever prove popular in Austria and that restaurants and guest houses were not keen on the idea.
A model presents the Lady P model in 1999. Photo: APA/Lenz