Edinburgh toilets: Temporary loos arrive in Portobello's Straiton Place Park, but are not yet open to public
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The facilities are not yet open the public, however, as its understood an electrical generator needs to be installed first. Staff working to erect the toilets suggested they could be open as early as Friday. Edinburgh City Council was asked about a timetable for making the facilities available to the public but was only able to say they would be open ‘soon’.
Local councillor Kate Campbell welcomed their arrival but called for a “long-term strategy to make sure there is enough accessible toilet provision on the prom for all beach goers”. Work crews were seen erecting the two toilet blocks in Straiton Place Park on Thursday July 20, where it is expected they will remain for four months.
It comes a month after temporary loos opened at three other popular summer spots – Inverleith Park, the Meadows and Leith Links – which will also be in place until October. The council was recently urged to arrange provision at Portobello by Edinburgh East MP, Tommy Sheppard, who said scenes of urination and defecation around the beach ‘in alleyways and even in people’s private gardens’ had been reported by locals and businesses.
Mr Sheppard said many were happy to see their calls answered “after much dithering and delay,” pointing out it was already “approaching the end of July, well into the height of the summer”. He said: “I wrote to the council chief executive back in May to highlight the ordeal that Portobello residents were facing and to point out that more toilets are needed on the Prom. Many constituents contacted me to agree that that was exactly what was needed. I hope this additional toilet capacity will prevent the awful scenes residents and businesses have endured over recent summers”.
Meanwhile there are two permanent public toilets in Portobello at Bath Street and Pipe Lane. Council leader Cammy Day said: “We now have temporary public toilets in place in the Meadows, Leith Links and Inverleith, like we provided last summer, and we’re carrying out more bin collections in these hotspot areas on busy days. Portobello is also a particularly popular area so, this summer, we’ve placed extra toilets near to the Promenade. We expect the beach to get busy so these are in addition to the permanent facilities. All of them will be up and running soon so let’s hope we get some glorious weather this festival season and everyone enjoys spending more time outdoors.”
Councillor Campbell, SNP representative for Portobello and Craigmillar at the City Chambers, said: “It’s great to see the toilets have finally arrived. But we want to see them open and in use as soon as possible. And this has to be part of a long-term strategy to make sure there is enough accessible toilet provision on the prom for all beach goers.”
She said part of that conversation should be about allowing members of the public to use bathrooms in buildings run by Edinburgh Leisure – which she said was “a council-owned company that is currently restricting access to toilets”.