June 8, 2021 3.20 pm This story is over 5 months old

People say they would loo-s out over Lincoln public toilet closures

Council needs to save £86k

Nearly 500 people have told the City of Lincoln Council there are few suitable alternatives to the public toilets earmarked for closure.

Around 816 people responded to a consultation on the council’s plans to save £86,000 by closing the urinals at The Lawn on Union Road and Newport Arch permanently, reopening facilities at Lucy Tower for special events only, while Westgate car parks facilities would be used by radar key holders only.

However, the toilets at the new bus station, Castle Square, Tentercroft Street, Boultham Park, Hartsholme Country Park and the cemetery will be retained.

Under the proposals, toilet attendant jobs will be lost at all facilities except the bus station, while a new city-wide scheme will change access to disabled loos via an electronic card registered to a specific user.

Sincil Street facilities will only open for events until the refurbishment of the market is completed.

City of Lincoln Council’s Policy Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday will be told that a consultation on the plans launched in January saw 57.8% (around 472 people) of respondents say they would be affected “personally to the extent that they would not be able to make use of a suitable alternative”.

Of those 123 people said that was due to health conditions, while 80 mentioned the distance created as a result of the closures.

A map included in the agenda pack shows a distance of 894metres between the Castle Square toilets at the top of Steep Hill and the city centre bus station facilities.

“This feedback is not very conclusive unfortunately, but shows generally annoyance at the closures it could be suggested,” said a report on the consultation – noting that due to the general age profile of users being mostly above the age of 65 distance was “an issue for users”.

However, it added that the map showed: “These are considered acceptable distances to walk (or in all such locations there is a public pay and display car park adjacent should people wish to drive to them).”

A map showing the distance between public toilets in the city. Red are those which are closing and blue are those to be retained. | Image: City of Lincoln Council

The report said this had impacted on the decision over Westgate toilets.

Elsewhere, more than 70% said the removal of permanent attendant at public toilets would not deter them from using them.

57.3% of people said they would be willing to pay more to mitigate the impact on services, with around a quarter suggesting 10p, a tenth 20p or 30p, and less than 5% agreeing to a more than 30p price rise.

The council has previously been called upon by residents to open more facilities in the town as alleyways and sidelanes get used by those less than willing to travel the distance, as well as late night revellers.

In April, the authority vowed to “clamp down” on people using alleyways as toilets, after yet more were seen urinating down a passage known as “pee and poo alley”.

Businesses near the alley at St Peter Arches off Lincoln High Street, between CEX and Caffe Nero, at one point took to shaming revellers urinating and taking drugs down there by publishing CCTV images.

Policy Scrutiny councillors on Tuesday will be asked to comment on the plans.

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