Tourists visiting the iconic Forth Bridge will be able to spend a penny in comfort thanks to plans for a new public toilet.
Those caught short on the World Heritage Site’s northern shore have had to cross their legs since Fife Council removed the only public toilet in North Queensferry in 2018.
Some have even resorted to relieving themselves in bushes near people’s homes.
The council said the previous automatic toilets cost £15,000 a year to run and made an annual loss of £10,000.
However, their removal proved far from convenient for visitors.
The local authority has now bowed to public pressure and will spend £74,000 on a new toilet.
The block will go on the same site at Battery Park.
Community manager Alastair Mutch said a number of people had raised concerns.
“Fife Council has come under some pressure to provide a facility,” he said.
“In July 2015, the Forth Bridge was designated a World Heritage Site.
“This has, in turn, impacted on the number of visitors to North Queensferry.
“While some local businesses have accommodated visitors by letting them utilise their toilet facilities, this option is not always available at certain times of the day or week.”
Relief at the news
Dave Dempsey, Conservative councillor for North Queensferry, said the news would come as some relief.
“This issue has been crawling forward for quite some time, complicated by the pandemic,” he said.
“They now seem to have got the funding in place for it and it’s finally happening.”
He added: “There’s been a lot of upset since they removed the old toilet.
“It looked like something out of a space project and the cost of it was astronomical.
“But those who live in the older part of the village have been forced to watch members of the public, who believe they are hiding, relieving themselves near their houses because they have nowhere to go.”
Mr Dempsey said the issue with toilets was not confined to North Queensferry but that the presence of the Forth Bridge made its situation unique.
“They now need to ensure they signpost it so people can actually find it,” he said.
Key to tourism
The Forth bridges play a key role in luring tourists to Fife and the Lothians, where 4.9 million visitor stays are recorded per year.
There are plans for a viewing platform at the south end of the road bridge.
A welcome hub with exhibition space and walking tours on the Forth Bridge are also on the cards.