Major inconvenience

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‘SPENDING a penny’ in the Coleraine area could be more inconvenient than you think following the closure of SEVEN toilet blocks.

The closures mean that there are no public toilets available in Portstewart or at Downhill, and in Portrush using the bathroom is only possible at the weekend.

In Coleraine the facilities at Railway Road and Long Commons have been closed, units at Strand Road are only available at weekends, whilst members of the public have to pay to use the loo’s at Park Street.

In Portrush three of the six toilet units are available only at the weekends at East Strand, West Bay and at the White Rocks. Other units at Dunluce Avenue, Lansdowne and the Harbour are closed.

Coleraine Borough Council claim that keeping all of the units open would cost in the region of £250,000, but they say that the closures are only temporary and will be “under constant review.”

In a statement released to The Coleraine Times on Friday, Coleraine Borough Council said: “Council has for many years invested heavily in the provision of public toilets across the borough, largely to provide a facility for the tourism trade as well as the resident ratepayer,.

“However, the cost of such facilities has now reached in the order of £250K per year with many sites being under utilised particularly in the winter time.

“Costs of running these facilities, regardless of usage, include staffing costs, maintenance, vandalism, water charges, legionella monitoring, light and sundries.

“In order to achieve some in year savings and establish the public reaction to some limited reduction in service the closures will take place from the start of 2013 until the beginning of British Summer time.

“These are to be regarded as ‘pilot’ opening/closure times and will remain under constant review over the next three months.”