Desperate calls for Fife’s public toilets to be reopened have fallen on deaf ears, despite businesses and residents in the region’s tourism hotspots fearing a weekend of disorder.
Locals are worried in the absence of toilet facilities visitors will decide to relieve themselves in public places.
Any hope of public conveniences being made available have been dashed as authorities continue to follow Scottish Government guidance.
Angus Meldrum, proprietor of Elie Watersports, is one of those concerned about the damage the influx of visitors could do to the area’s environment and reputation.
“At the weekend we had hundreds of people on the beach, many from further away than five miles and many for the whole day.
“We also had a number of smaller style campervans staying overnight. The rest of the village was also very busy.
“At present, as pubs etc are not allowed to open it means there are no facilities at all for people to relieve themselves.
“I understand that people are supposed to follow the rules and that Fife Coast and Countryside Trust have produced a leaflet on the matter.
“But this is not good enough for touristy places as people are breaking the rules and then having no option but to defecate and urinate all over our beautiful places.
“My understanding is that Highlands and Islands Council had the same issue and last week made the decision to open all public toilets with guidelines for usage posted on the outside of the building.”
Mr Meldrum also pointed out the continued closures is undermining the key handwashing message in the fight against Covid-19.
“Current public convenience policy makes no sense to the wellbeing of the public and the communities they serve.
“With the good weather this needs actioned now before our town is ruined.”
Independent councillor Linda Holt, who represents East Neuk and Landward, said: “Last weekend, hundreds of visitors flocked to the East Neuk coastal villages to enjoy the sunny beaches or treat themselves to an ice cream or a fish supper as many take-always have re-opened.
“There was absolutely nowhere for them to spend a penny as public toilets, pubs and restaurants remained shut.
“Lockdown decimated tourism in the East Neuk. As it gradually comes back to life, it has never been more important for the area to present its best and most welcoming face to visitors.”
A Fife Council spokesperson said it was working to open toilets “as soon as is practicable and in line with guidance”
A spokesperson for Fife Coast and Countryside Trust said: “At this difficult time we would ask you to plan your trip ahead considering that you may have to return home when nature calls.
“We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and look forward to opening our toilet facilities when it’s safe to do so.”