Distress over West Sands toilet closure

Bruce Embankment, St Andrews.
Bruce Embankment, St Andrews.

The lack of public toilet facilities in the area of the West Sands beach in St Andrews has been strongly criticised.

A Cupar resident, who travels to the award-winning beach several times a week, has claimed that people visiting the area - it also houses the British Golf Museum - have been left “distressed” following the closure of the toilets at the Bruce Embankment car park

He told the Citizen: ”This toilet has been closed for many weeks and a sign states that it’s the result of storm damage.

‘‘The sign instructs people to go to the nearest public toilets, which are in Church Square in the town centre.”

The man said that he had personally witnessed distressed and angry people of all ages at the West Sands who required to use the toilet.

He added: ”As a result of there being none open, these people are resorting to going behind walls and bushes, which is not only illegal, but a health hazard.


‘‘For this to be happening in St Andrews is nothing short of a disgrace and councillors should be ashamed that they can’t even meet the most basic of needs for locals and residents alike.”

The man also highlighted the closure of the public toilets at St Andrews harbour, close to the East Sands beach.

Responding, Harry Byers, service manager with Fife Council’s transportation and environmental services, said that the roof of the Bruce Embankment toilets was damaged by a storm in December.

However, repair work had started and was expected to take up to three weeks to complete.

He also pointed out that the harbour toilets were seasonal as they were unstaffed and had no lighting, but would reopen on March 1.

Mr Byers added: ”We currently have four businesses in St Andrews participating in the Comfort Break Scheme.

‘‘This allows the public to use their toilet facilities free of charge and they can be found at the Cosmos Community Centre, Drouthy Neebors, the Byre Theatre and Zest Café.

“We hope to attract more local businesses to join the scheme. People should be aware that many council toilet facilities are open to the public and these are at the library, museum, local office and the bus station.

“The Scottish Government has just given us approval for Comfort Break Scheme signage to be erected directing people to businesses participating in the scheme.”

There are currently 28 businesses participating in the Comfort Break Scheme across the whole of Fife.