Appeal to re-open toilets for tourists at Forth Bridges

Calls have been made to reinstate public toilets in North Queensferry.
Forth Rail Bridge (Pic: Jacky Ghossein)Forth Rail Bridge (Pic: Jacky Ghossein)
Forth Rail Bridge (Pic: Jacky Ghossein)

They were removed from Battery Road car park around a year ago as part of a cost saving measure.

Tourists have been relying on the facilities in local shops and cafes.

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Now, Conservative councillor for Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay and Aberdour, Dave Dempsey, has called for the facilities to be returned.

At a Fife Council meeting, he asked: “Why has it proved impossible to identify funding to restore and operate a public toilet at the Forth Bridge, Fife’s only World Heritage Site, and what needs to be done to rectify this.”

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Altany Craik, convener of the economy, tourism. strategic planning and Transportation committee, said: “The Forth Bridges tourism  sets out a clear visitor tourism plan. This includes insuring visitor facilities, such as public toilets, digital visitor information and making sure they’re available in North Queensferry.

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“The  toilets made a loss of approximately £10,000 per annum and in 2017/18 elected members agreed to close these facilities as part of budget savings.”

He added: “Communities forming part of the wider North Queensferry area are encouraged to welcome the opportunities arising from the tourism. Officers assessed that have local attractions have toilet facilities that can be readily accessed by visitors including hotels and attractions. However, officers will review the need for  facilities based on tourist demands.”

Cllr Dempsey responded saying: “If you’re visiting our heritage site and need to find a toilet, an ambitious strand is not really all that helpful.

“Officers have worked themselves ragged trying to find, I think, a figure of £3000 a year, to meet costs – a trivial, small figure in the budget of this council.”

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Cllr Craik said: “I  recall two budgets ago allocating area capital to every area committee and if that had been your desire for that area capital, for the small sum of £30,000 you could have done it.

“In terms of £3000 per annum to run a toilet, I’m sure that’s something the area committee could have dealt with.

“However, I look forward to having a proper discussion and trying to find a way forward and see where we can go from here.”