Loo closure plan simply inconvenient for coastal path walkers

A long wait to spend a penny: Alan McIlravie (right) with Coastal Path walkers at the public toilets. Pic: FPA
A long wait to spend a penny: Alan McIlravie (right) with Coastal Path walkers at the public toilets. Pic: FPA

Walkers on the Fife Coastal Path at Kinghorn will get no relief when the public toilets along the scenic route close from today (Thursday).

And locals fear that, like in previous years, they will use the area behind the lifeboat station to relieve themselves.

Kinghorn Community Council is calling for the toilet at the harbour beach to be kept open, with one businessman even offering to clean them himself!

The toilets are owned by Fife Council, but managed by Fife Coast and Countryside Trust which is also responsible for the maintenance of the Coastal Path.

Alan McIlravie, chairman of the community council, said: “It seems such a shame that one of Fife’s great assets, the Coastal Path does not offer the most basic of conveniences for the public. Even the Victorians were more civilised and recognised the health and well being benefits of having toilets available to the public.

“On the one hand, we are being encouraged to walk, exercise and think healthy while on the other, those who heed the advice have to scurry behind buildings to make themselves comfortable.

“People from all parts of the UK and abroad come to Fife to walk this path which offers the most beautiful views, but no public toilets at the beach. It seems to me that public conveniences should not be thought of as a luxury in the Council’s budget but as a basic and essential service.

Councillors Susan Leslie and George Kay said the toilets were a long-running issue and the agreement to open them from April to October had been reached to avoid closing them altogether.

“Fife Coast and Countryside Trust is tied into a service level agreement but if the Comunity Council wishes to approach the trust to try to find a way around this it might be helpful,” they said.

A Trust spokesman said: “While we share the Community Council’s desire to have the toilets open all year round, to do so would require additional funding at a time when the Council needs to deliver savings of £77m over the next three years. That said, there might be other options to enable the toilets to be opened for longer and we would be happy to work with the Community Council to try and find a solution.”