Ten public toilets to be axed

Granton Square toilets. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Granton Square toilets. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A HIT list of 12 public toilets earmarked for closure has been revealed in a bid to secure a £300,000 saving for the Capital.

Conveniences at key routes including Middle Meadow Walk, London Road and St John’s Road are among those set to be axed, it has emerged.

Tollcross toilets. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Tollcross toilets. Picture: Ian Georgeson

A consultation exercise will now take place to identify up to ten toilets which will close amid moves to slice £67 million from the city’s budget.

The shortlist was put together after Edinburgh’s 29 public conveniences were assessed for condition, usage and accessibility.

It was originally feared as many as 20 could shut as part of a proposed £600,000 savings drive – but this was halved during the 2015-16 budget negotiations.

Critics today branded the latest move a “public health scandal” which would create serious hygiene issues.

St Johns Road toilets. Picture: Ian Georgeson

St Johns Road toilets. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Heather Goodare, convener of Friends of the Meadows, said the Middle Meadow Walk toilet was used by hundreds of people each day during summer.

She warned closing it would create a vast swathe of land between Hope Park Crescent and Bruntsfield where those caught short would have nowhere to relieve themselves.

She said: “Not to have public toilets on the Meadows would surely seem to our international visitors to be bizarre in the extreme.

“Do we really want public urination on the Meadows? As it is, during peak times in the summer, at the height of the barbecue season, when people tend to drink alcohol to excess, public urination is a problem – and it’s not only men who do it.

“In fact we need one more toilet on the Meadows, which should be accessible for disabled people. We really can’t afford to lose those few we have. It’s a public health scandal.”

Ken Swinney, secretary at Corstorphine Community Council, predicted closure of the St John’s Road convenience would spark widespread anger.

He said: “We are strongly against it and we feel, being on the outskirts of the city and with the volume of traffic, that it should be retained.

“The toilet is certainly well-used and I do feel it’s a necessity. Bus drivers, taxi drivers, passing visitors and the elderly all use it.”

Opposition figures said city chiefs should be prepared to change the shortlist.

Councillor Chas Booth, Green environment spokesman, said: “If the public consultation comes back with strong support for toilets to be kept open, the council has to listen and look at other ways in which they can be improved and continue to stay open.”

Council leaders said discussions over the introduction of a community toilet scheme – which would pay high street businesses to open loos to the general public – were ongoing.

A spokeswoman said: “We are now asking residents to take part in a survey to help us make a final decision about which of the toilets to close.”

Marked for closure:

1: Joppa

2: St John’s Road

3: London Road

4: Tollcross

5: Granton Square

6: Ardmillan

7:Canonmills

8: Middle Meadow Walk

Others facing closure are Canaan Lane, Hawes Pier in South Queensferry, Currie and

Juniper Green