Loo where it costs £8 to spend a penny

IN THE present economic climate, a public toilet which costs the local authority £8 every time someone spends a penny is one with the axe of closure poised over it.

And this is exactly what is happening to Dundee City Council’s former Scottish Loo of the Year in Queen Street, Broughty Ferry, which costs £135,000 a year to run, but which has fallen out of favour.

The Queen Street facility gained its national award in 2003 for its high standards of cleanliness, but last year the total income was £3,322.

At 20p a visit, this meant that about 45 people a day, on average, were using the toilet.

The council says it will replace the loo with a coin-operated automatic public convenience which is estimated will save £111,000 in the next financial year.

One reason for the unpopularity of the toilet is that people would prefer to save the modest 20p that it costs, and instead use free (to them) facilities in cafes, restaurants and pubs instead.

Broughty Councillor Ken Guild told the Guide & Gazette that the building will become the responsibility of the City Development Department, which will try to find an alternative use for it, possibly commercial.

He added that the replacement facility will be available for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whereas the Queen Street loo closes at 5.30 p.m. each day.

Of public reaction to the closure, Mr Guild said: “Of all the issues connected with the savings, this one has generated least comment.”

A location for the proposed automated toilet has still to be established.