Edinburgh councillors to consider reopening public toilets

A proposal to reopen public toilets in ‘hot spot’ areas near busy parks and beaches has been published by the City of Edinburgh Council today, following a city-wide review.

Councillors on the Policy and Sustainability Committee will consider a report on Thursday, 9 July which outlines how some public toilets could be reopened safely following government guidance, having been closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With lockdown restrictions being gradually relaxed in recent weeks and the weather improving, areas such as the Meadows and Portobello Beach have become increasingly popular. Unfortunately, this has also led to people relieving themselves outdoors and in the vicinity of people’s homes causing a significant health hazard.

Adam McVey, Council Leader, said: “The city is slowly starting to return to a ‘new normal’ and as more restrictions are gradually eased we know a lot of people are out enjoying our beautiful parks and beaches, and more recently returning to visit the many and varied quality shops and other businesses Edinburgh has to offer. We are reopening some toilets to ease the situation but I would ask that everyone is respectful they’re when out and about. Plan ahead and if you’re caught short, get home to use your own facilities if there are none open nearby.

“It’s only possible to reopen some public toilets in busy areas as we must make sure we’re following government guidance and putting in all of the necessary measures required such as additional deep cleaning and physical distancing to keep everyone safe. The cost of reopening can’t be underestimated but it’s important that we do all we can to support our communities and combat the negative anti-social behaviour some of our residents have experienced."

Depute Leader, Cammy Day, said: “We know the situation is far from ideal, but we have limited resources and the priority here must be protecting public health. We’ll keep everyone updated as soon as it is possible to reopen all of our toilets safely. Until then we’ll be using signage, our website and social media to keep everyone up to date with health and safety measures we’re putting in place and which toilets are open when.”

Assuming the report is approved, and all health and safety measures are put in place, selected public toilets would reopen on Monday, 13 July. This would be on  a temporary basis until 30 October from 11am to 6pm, seven days a week. A further review will be carried out in September and an update report will be considered by councillors in October. This report will outline details of customer numbers, costs incurred, and any updates on public health advice.

Public toilets to reopen 13 July – 30 October:

  • ·         Pipe Lane in Portobello
  • ·         Hope Park in the Meadows
  • ·         Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens
  • ·         the Courtyard at Saughton Park
  • ·         Bruntsfield Links
  • ·         Hawes Pier, South Queensferry
  • ·         Cramond




Published: July 3rd 2020