Relief for Edinburgh as public toilets at six hotspots set to reopen

Public toilets at six popular hotspots in the city are set to reopen for the first time since the pandemic began.

By Jolene Campbell
Friday, 21st May 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 11:58 am

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Toilets at Portobello and five other high-visitor areas will be back in use at the end of the month once final safety checks are carried out, subject to approval from group leaders on the Council.

Loos will also reopen in Hamilton Place, Stockbridge, Lauriston Castle, Harlaw Visitor Centre and Winter Gardens, Saughton Park.

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Police provided additional resources at the Meadows last month

It comes after councillors rubber-stamped a £5 million investment plan last month to revamp public toilets, following a report that called for investment and identified toilets as not fit for purpose.

The report highlighted gaps in provision including at the council’s ‘premier parks’ such as the Pentland Hills, as well as in official town centres.

New temporary toilets are also set to open as early as possible next month in the Meadows, which recently became a magnet for anti-social behaviour, with people relieving themselves outdoors.

Dramatic scenes of violence at the Meadows last month prompted safety fears and led to increased police presence.

It's hoped reopening loos will put an end to scenes like this

Temporary toilet facilities will also be installed at Inverleith Park, Leith Links with £450,000 from COVID funding, which will be in place until the end of September and will include male and female toilets as well as a disabled toilet.

Pentland Hills Regional Park has applied for external funding to install temporary toilets at Threipmuir, Bonaly and Harlaw.

It is hoped the Council’s remaining permanent public toilets will be reopened in late June or early July, in line with public health guidance.

These are located in Colinton, Castle Terrace, Castle Hill, Taylor Gardens, High Street South Queensferry and Nicolson Square.

Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said: "Taken all together there will soon be 12 more places to safely spend a penny when you’re spending time enjoying our beautiful parks, beaches and green spaces across Edinburgh.

"It’s fantastic that we’ll shortly be able to reopen several permanent public toilets again, as well as bring new temporary facilities to key hotspots.

“We want everyone to be able to relax and make the most of our wonderful outdoor spaces so having these toilets open will be extremely welcome I’m sure. And work’s continuing so that we can get all our permanent toilet facilities operational again as soon as possible over the summer, in line with public health guidance.”

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