Comment: Edinburgh can’t be caught short

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the loss of public toilets Hunter Square may not be mourned by many city residents.

Indeed, the work by Edinburgh World Heritage Trust to bring the Tron Kirk back into use is likely to be welcomed by most as a positive and long overdue move.

But whether you make use of the current facilities or not, Edinburgh does have a bit of a problem here.

The Kirk sits at the heart of the Royal Mile, slap bang in tourist-land and during the Festival in one of the highest footfall areas of the city.

The provision of public toilets here may not seem vital for the majority of Capital dwellers but for visitors to the city, they most certainly are.

And we all know how important the tourist spend is to the city’s economy and local businesses up and down the Mile.

It is not just a convenience issue, having well-maintained services – the sort which are commonplace in competitor cities – can form a lasting impression of a place and increase the chances of a return visit or a positive recommendation.

The city council says today that it is conducting a review of toilet provision and hopefully this will lead to a permanent solution.

Directing people to the nearest convenience – if it is half a mile up the hill – is most definitely not an option.

That could mean local businesses again being urged to step in and open up their facilities, but this will only work if there is a formal system and everyone is on board.

Or it may mean automatic toilets like those in St Andrew Square being brought in.

Whatever, the city cannot be caught short here.

This may not seem like a big issue at the moment but a wee problem could develop into a major headache for city leaders.